UN flags lowered for staff killed in Gaza

The UN company for supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) stated 101 of its staff had died within the Gaza Strip for the reason that battle erupted (Lillian SUWANRUMPHA)

Flags flew at half-mast at UN amenities throughout the globe Monday together with on the physique’s New York headquarters, as employees stood in silent tribute to the greater than 100 colleagues killed in Gaza throughout the Israel-Hamas battle.

The blue and white United Nations flag was lowered at 9:30 am native time at places of work in Bangkok, Tokyo and Beijing, with different UN venues following go well with.

Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres led UN personnel in observing a minute of silence at UN headquarters when the clock struck 9:30 am in New York.

“Because the begin of this battle, greater than 100 UNRWA employees have misplaced their lives,” he posted on X, previously Twitter, together with {a photograph} of senior UN officers somberly standing in silence.

“They are going to by no means be forgotten.”

The UN company for supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) stated Monday that 102 of its staff had died and 27 had been injured within the Gaza Strip for the reason that battle erupted simply over a month in the past — the very best variety of UN assist employees killed in a battle within the physique’s historical past, based on the company.

“UNRWA employees in Gaza recognize the UN decreasing the flag world wide,” the company director within the Gaza Strip, Tom White, stated in a press release.

“In Gaza nevertheless, now we have to maintain the UN flag flying excessive as an indication that we’re nonetheless standing and serving the individuals of Gaza.”

Israel has been relentlessly bombarding the Gaza Strip since Hamas fighters carried out an October 7 assault on southern Israeli communities, the deadliest within the nation’s historical past.

About 1,200 individuals, principally civilians, have been killed within the Hamas assaults and round 240 individuals taken hostage, based on Israeli officers.

Greater than 11,000 individuals, most of them civilians and lots of of them youngsters, have been killed in Gaza in retaliatory strikes by Israel, based on the territory’s Hamas-run well being ministry.

– ‘Shield civilians’ –

Within the foyer of UN headquarters, the names of the staffers killed in Gaza have been learn out as dozens of colleagues listened. Some carried white sheets with the phrases “Cease the preventing” and “Shield civilians.”

In New York and Geneva, the company’s second-largest headquarters, not one of the flags of the 193 member nations have been hoisted.

“Their reminiscence and the affect they made will eternally stay,” the top of the UN’s World Well being Group, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated.

“Their unwavering dedication to peace, justice, and the well-being of others serves as a guiding gentle and a reminder of the significance of our shared mission.”

Occasions have been additionally held in Kathmandu and Kabul, the place the UN Secretary-Common’s Particular Consultant for Afghanistan Roza Otunbayeva led about 250 individuals in observing the minute’s silence.

UNRWA, which has 13,000 employees working all through Gaza, says it’s sheltering some 780,000 individuals in additional than 150 amenities within the territory.

On Sunday, a day earlier than the worldwide tribute to fallen employees, the United Nations reported “a big variety of deaths and accidents” in strikes on one among its amenities in Gaza that was housing internally displaced individuals.

A minimum of 66 individuals sheltering in UNWRA amenities have been killed since October 7, based on the mission, with greater than 560 individuals injured.

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