UN Security Council Full Press Statement – on humanitarian workers and the threat of famine in Gaza

“The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern over the Israeli air strikes that killed seven team members of the World Central Kitchen. These horrific attacks brought the number of humanitarian personnel killed in Gaza during the ongoing conflict to at least 224, more than three times as many humanitarian aid workers killed in any single conflict recorded in a single year. The members of the Security Council underlined the need for accountability for all of these incidents, and noted that Israel has announced the initial results of an investigation into the incident of 1 April 2024. They stressed the need for a full, transparent and comprehensive investigation into the incident, that is fully publicized.

The members of the Security Council expressed sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all who had lost their lives since the start of hostilities on 7 October 2023.

The members of the Security Council also demanded that all parties to the conflict fully respect the protected status of humanitarian workers, facilities, and operations under international law, abide by humanitarian notification and deconfliction mechanisms, and immediately remediate any deficiencies in these mechanisms.

The members of the Security Council recognized the outstanding and admirable efforts of all humanitarian, medical and United Nations workers serving in Gaza and acknowledged the extremely difficult and dangerous conditions under which they are operating, as well as the tremendous courage they continued to demonstrate in pursuing their lifesaving mission.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their deep concern over the human toll of the conflict, the catastrophic humanitarian situation, and the threat of imminent famine in Gaza and called for the immediate lifting of all barriers to the delivery of humanitarian aid at scale to the civilian population and to the unhindered distribution of such assistance. They took note of the announcement by Israel to open the Erez crossing and allow the use of the Ashdod port for aid deliveries into Gaza, but stressed that more should be done to bring the required relief given the scale of needs in Gaza. Council members insisted on the need to immediately and fully implement this decision in a sustained manner, and reiterated their demand to the parties to allow, facilitate and enable the immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip, consistent with Resolution 2720 (2023).

The members of the Security Council called for full respect of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law. They underlined their demands for an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs, and for the parties to comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain, in line with Resolution 2728 (2024).

The members of the Security Council further reiterated their full support for the work of Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, in line with Resolution 2720 (2023). They also underlined their support for the lifesaving efforts of all UN personnel and agencies, including UNRWA, that are working to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

The members of the Security Council condemned all violence and hostilities against civilians, and all acts of terrorism. They emphasized the imperative of all parties immediately and fully implementing resolutions 2728 (2024), 2720 and 2712 (2023).

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