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Smoke rises from town of Khan Younis after Israeli strikes on Friday, December 15, 2023. --Photo AP

WHO chief reiterates call for ceasefire in Gaza

GENEVA (Xinhua) -- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), reiterated his call on Friday for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Tedros made the appeal at an annual press conference organised by the Association of Accredited Correspondents at the United Nations in Geneva.
The director-general hailed as “significant” the resolution adopted at the special session of the WHO Executive Board on the health situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, which called for immediate, sustained and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief in Gaza, including medical personnel.
The resolution also called on Tedros to continue reporting on the public health implications of the crisis, to assess the mental health impacts of the crisis, to increase technical and material assistance, and to strengthen the health agency’s work with partners.
However, these tasks are almost impossible in the current circumstances, Tedros said. “The only real remedy is an immediate ceasefire,” he said.
This year, there were over 1,200 documented attacks on health workers, patients, hospitals, clinics, and ambulances, across 19 countries, resulting in nearly 700 deaths and over 1,100 injuries, according to the head of WHO.
Tedros denounced attacks on health as a violation of international humanitarian law, saying health must never be a target.
More than 18,700 Palestinians have been killed amid the ongoing Gaza conflict since Oct. 7, with 70 percent of them women and children, the health ministry in Gaza said on Thursday.


(Latest Update December 18, 2023)

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