Condemning Hamas does not justify Israel’s war on Gaza — Lazzarini

philippe lazzarini and emmanuel macron
(Photo: Twitter/X)
PARIS — The International Conference on Gaza commenced in Paris on Thursday, initiated by France, with the participation of several countries and relevant organizations. Its purpose is to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip, fostering hopes of achieving results that can ameliorate conditions threatening approximately 2.5 million citizens.اضافة اعلان

The French presidency stated that the conference will bring together the key stakeholders responsible for addressing humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip. They are committed to taking effective action for the Palestinian civilian population, and these stakeholders encompass countries, donor entities, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations active in the region.

‘Working towards a ceasefire’ – Macron
During the conference's opening, French President Emmanuel Macron called for "working towards a ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip. He emphasized, "In the near future, we must focus on protecting civilians. This is why there is an urgent need for a humanitarian ceasefire, and we must work to halt missile launches."

President Macron underscored the "necessity" of safeguarding civilians in the Gaza Strip and stressed that there can be no double standards when it comes to protecting human lives, adding that "this is non-negotiable."

He also pointed out that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating "every day" and called for the coordination and concrete organization of aid delivery.

Macron additionally announced that France would increase its aid to the Gaza Strip to 100 million euros.

Meanwhile, in his address, Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), disclosed that the agency has lost 99 of its employees in the Gaza Strip since October 7.

Lazzarini explained that more than 700,000 displaced individuals are residing in the agency's schools in the Gaza Strip. Entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip have been demolished, with schools and places of worship targeted by Israeli airstrikes.

Condemning Hamas does not justify the war launched by the Israeli occupation
Lazzarini stressed that while condemning Hamas attacks is natural, it does not justify the war launched by the Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip.

The UNRWA Commissioner-General cautioned against expanding the scope of the conflict, saying, "I am deeply concerned about the expansion of the conflict beyond the Gaza Strip. The situation in the West Bank is volatile, and we must prevent the conflict from spreading further before it's too late."

Regarding humanitarian aid, Lazzarini stated, "We must protect the displaced and ensure that aid reaches them," emphasizing that the volume of aid entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing is insufficient, and all crossings must be opened to facilitate aid entry.

He added that "funding is still lacking, and we will not be able to pay the salaries of those working in the Gaza Strip in the future. Hence, an immediate ceasefire is necessary, along with ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip."

Lazzarini also objected to describing Palestinians as subhuman, stating, "This is absolutely unacceptable and undermines the peace process." He described the situation in Gaza as collective punishment.

Furthermore, Martin Griffiths, Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, underscored that all parties must respect international law to protect civilians in Gaza.

Griffiths added that humanitarian organizations must be allowed to provide their services in Gaza, and the current conflict in Gaza is a massive fire that can spread throughout the region.

He pointed out that the toll of the conflict in the Gaza Strip is horrifying, and the situation there is unbearable and catastrophic.

He emphasized that food and fuel must be secured for the Gaza Strip without obstacles, stating, "We need more crossings to enter aid for the residents of the Gaza Strip because the needs are substantial."

Furthermore, Griffiths stated that a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip is necessary for humanitarian reasons. On the other hand, he clarified that residents of the West Bank are currently suffering more than ever.

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