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Latest News'Get us out of this hellhole': SOS messages by UNRWA staff in...

‘Get us out of this hellhole’: SOS messages by UNRWA staff in Gaza detail desperation, fear


United Nations, Oct 17 : The 13,000-strong staff working with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees is “terrified and tired” and described the situation in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as a “hellhole”, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is the largest UN agency working in the Gaza Strip, both in terms of the size of its operations as well as the number of staff.

The 13,000-strong UNRWA staff in Gaza includes teachers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, warehouse workers, logisticians, technicians and drivers.

“We have a very, very big operation in the Gaza Strip. What we hear from our staff is that… they are terrified and they’re tired. They want all of this to come to an end and the message that we’re getting is: ‘Get us out of this hellhole. This has become hell’,” UNRWA Director of Communications Juliette Touma told reporters here through video conference on the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Touma said the messages of ‘SOS’ have worsened by the day amidst Israel’s weeklong siege and bombardment.

“The mood is going down. I feel the level of desperation is going up. Uncertainty, really from one hour to another, fear. That’s what our staff has been sharing with us,” she said.

Touma said that since the current conflict began when Hamas launched an audacious terror attack on Israel on October 7 and the Jewish state declared war on the militant group, about one million Palestinians have been displaced and nearly half of them are sheltering in UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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