UN Palestine Agency Says Israel Responsible for Deaths of Some UN Workers in Gaza Strip
16:44 24.10.2023 (Updated: 16:56 24.10.2023)
© AP Photo / Hassan EslaiahСотрудники ООН и Красного Полумесяца готовят помощь для распределения среди палестинцев на складе в Дейр-эль-Балахе, сектор Газа
© AP Photo / Hassan Eslaiah
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Israel is responsible for the deaths of some of 35 UN workers in the Gaza Strip since the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the perpetrators have not yet been identified due to the difficult conditions in the enclave, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said on Tuesday.
On Monday, UNRWA confirmed the deaths of 35 of its staff in Gaza since October 7 and the damage to 40 UN facilities.
"Indeed, at least 35 colleagues, and I think by now the number is even higher, were killed during the active hostilities in the frank strikes, the same for our buildings. While some of our buildings and some of our colleagues were killed because of Israeli strikes, I cannot confirm that for all of them" Tamara Alrifai, a spokeswoman for UNRWA, told a press briefing.
The UN needs much more time to collect evidence for analysis, including shrapnel, due to the organization's limited capacity to be on the ground, Alrifai said.
"I cannot right now assert the number of pieces that were struck by either side of the conflicts," the UNRWA spokeswoman added.
On October 7, Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and taking captives from in neighboring Israeli communities.
Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2.4 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel. The blockade was later eased to allow trucks with humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
The escalation of the conflict has resulted in nearly 5,800 people killed and thousands injured in Palestine, including more than 2,000 children, according to Al Jazeera. On the other side, more than 1,500 Israelis have been killed as a result of Hamas attacks.