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UN McGoldrick applauds humanitarian workers in Palestine

Aug. 19, 2018 4:05 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 25, 2018 10:21 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- In honor of World Humanitarian Day, Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, called for the protection of the Palestinian people, particularly health workers helping to save lives along the borders of Gaza.

The World Humanitarian Day is an annual occasion dedicated by the United Nations General Assembly to raising public awareness about the millions of people who risk their lives in order to provide food, water, and other needs to people living in conflicts, in natural disasters, and other emergencies.

On this day, humanitarians around the world call for the need of increased protection of civilians, humanitarians, and health workers in conflict zones.

McGoldrick said in a statement “Today, I applaud the committed humanitarian workers in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially my national colleagues, who regularly face personal risk and assaults on their dignity, often while withstanding the same restrictive conditions that drive the humanitarian crisis in the occupied territories.”

He added “Particular admiration goes to the health workers of Gaza, who, since March 30th, have exerted heroic efforts to treat people injured during demonstrations along Israel's perimeter fence. I mourn the deaths of the three Palestinian health workers who were killed in this context and I am outraged regarding the 370 others injured, who risked their own lives while trying to save the lives of other Palestinians.”

McGoldrick said that two million Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip have been identified as being in need of active protection measures in 2018, due to exposure to conflict and violence, displacement or restricted access to livelihoods and essential services.

He expressed concerns also for the protection of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, where many live in Area C, which makes up over 60% of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, noting Israel deprives them of their basic human rights .

He stressed “Overall, the protection available to Palestinians in the occupied territories is growing weaker by year, resulting in a pattern of increased dependency on humanitarian assistance that will be hard to reverse.”

McGoldrick called on Israel “to uphold its obligations as an occupying power,” on the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Hamas movement “to ensure they act in line with their obligations under international law,” and on “countries to undertake credible and effective investigations into allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law and to hold perpetrators to account.”

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