Tel Aviv [Israel], October 23:
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has said that 29 of its colleagues in Gaza have been killed since October 7, half of them UNRWA teachers.
“We are in shock and mourning. It is now confirmed that 29 of our colleagues in #Gaza have been killed since October 7. Half of these colleagues were @unrwa teachers. As an Agency, we are devastated. We are grieving with each other and with the families,” the UN agency wrote on ‘X’ on Sunday.
The UNRWA is a UN agency that supports the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees.
In response to the UNRWA statement, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appealed for an immediate ceasefire.
“Our hearts go out to our @UN colleagues as we grieve the profound loss of countless lives in this heartbreaking tragedy. Ceasefire plea. To end the unbearable suffering endured by all those living and serving in Gaza, we urgently appeal for an immediate ceasefire,” the WHO Director-General wrote on ‘X’.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Welfare Ministry on Sunday announced that at least 21 children in 13 families were left without parents due to Hamas’s attack on Israel.
The figure includes 16 cases in which both parents were killed, while the remaining children had one parent killed while the other was taken captive or has been missing since the deadly assault two weeks ago, as per The Times of Israel.
The children include a 4-year-old girl held hostage in Gaza. Another young girl’s mother was murdered and her father is being held captive, the ministry added.
Social workers with the ministry were working to identify all such children and provide them and their guardians with all the resources necessary.
Israel Minister Yaakov Margi said in a statement: “The fact that so many children are victims of the brutal Hamas attack turns the stomach.”
He pledged the state would look out for these children “for their entire lives and will not spare any resource in helping them rehabilitate.”
Since the October 7 attack by Hamas, some 200,000 Israelis have been internally displaced.
A spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister’s office on Sunday said that about half of the 200,000 were instructed to evacuate from 105 communities near the Gaza and Lebanon borders in the south and north, while half left areas close to the front of their own volition, as per The Times of Israel.–(ANI)