Nations call for ceasefire, increase in Gaza aid at UN General Assembly

Member states of the United Nations General Assembly called for a ceasefire and an increase in aid to Gaza on Monday

Israel has ordered the evacuation of the north of Gaza, but thousands of civilians remain.

Food, fuel, medicines and water have been running out across the enclave under Israel’s six-week-old siege. In the south, where hundreds of thousands of Gazans who fled the north of the enclave are sheltering, there have been reports of Israeli strikes.

The United Nations says two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been made homeless.

Norwegian representative to the UN Andreas Lovold said: “The military operations in Gaza have gone too far. The lack of food, electricity, water, medicines and health care is a disaster for the people of Gaza, including for almost 1 million children. The death toll is unbearable. We deplore the continuing denial of humanitarian aid to Gaza, and we called for a sufficient, safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access immediately.”

James Larsen, Representative of Australia to the UN, stated that Canberra “wants to see the next steps towards a ceasefire agreed by both parties. We welcome recent reports of diplomatic efforts towards the safe release of hostages and to facilitate safe humanitarian access. And we encourage all steps towards this.”

About 240 hostages were taken during a deadly cross-border rampage into Israel by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, which prompted Israel to invade the Palestinian territory to target Hamas.

About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the Hamas assault, according to Israeli tallies, the deadliest day in Israel’s 75-year-old history.

Since then, Gaza’s Hamas-run government said at least 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 5,600 children and 3,550 women, by unrelenting Israeli bombardment.