More than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in just one of month of conflict, they said, citing local health authorities. Children, women and the elderly account for 75 per cent of the victims, and upwards of 26,000 people have been injured.
“Furthermore, according to multiple sources, the number of Palestinian children reported killed in Gaza in just three weeks has surpassed the annual number of children killed across the world’s conflict zones since 2019,” they added.
Healthcare under fire
The joint call was issued by 70 Ambassadors to the UN Office at Geneva, 41 of whom appeared there in person on Friday.
Their statement said hospitals in Gaza are “coming to a halt” as fuel and electricity supply have been cut.
“Doctors are performing surgery without anesthesia; mothers are watching their babies fighting for survival in incubators that are running out of electricity; the only cancer hospital in Gaza has shut down while other hospitals are bombed,” they said.
“Moreover, more than 50 entire families have been wiped off the population registry in Gaza, they have been decimated.”
Humanitarians killed, homes destroyed
They also pointed to the many aid workers who have been killed, including from UNRWA, the UN agency that assists Palestine refugees in Gaza and across the Middle East.
Separately, UNRWA confirmed that 101 staff have lost their lives since the conflict erupted on 7 October. UN offices across the world will on Monday observe a minute of silence in their honour, and the UN flag will be flown at half-mast.
The Ambassadors said civilian infrastructure in Gaza, such as refugee camps, apartment buildings, schools, bakeries, mosques and churches, has been directly targeted and reduced to rubble, while at least 45 per cent of all housing has either been destroyed, rendered uninhabitable or damaged.
Ceasefire and aid access
They appealed for an immediate ceasefire and urged the international community “to exert maximum pressure” to ensure emergency humanitarian access and assistance, as well as the restoration of basic services.
Additionally, all hostages and political detainees must be released, and action must be taken to protect civilians and safeguard civilian facilities, particularly UNRWA schools that are being used as emergency shelters.
They also demanded action to end the forcible transfer of Palestinians within or from Gaza.
The statement urged Israel to grant immediate access to the Independent International UN Commission of Inquiry on the occupied Palestinian territory. It also emphasised the importance of addressing and eradicating the root causes of the current crisis and recurrent cycles of violence.