Painting a grim picture of the current social climate in the Middle East, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator today urged donors meeting in Stockholm to address the severe suffering of Palestinians living under occupation. Mr. Egeland, reflecting on more than two decades of travel to the region, said he had never felt such a sense of disillusionment, despair and hatred as on his last mission there in July.
Calling the situation in Gaza severe, he said a cessation of hostilities and the release of the captured Israeli soldiers were needed. The humanitarian community also needed better access to Gaza, especially since the “hermetically sealed” Karni crossing made people feel like they were living in a cage, he added.
During his visit to Gaza in July, Mr. Egeland called Israel’s military offensive there a “disproportionate use of force” but emphasized that all sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were guilty of violating humanitarian law.