'History will judge us' - WHO DG calls for urgent humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza


Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO), has asked Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, to agree to a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

In recent weeks, Israel's military has used a combination of ground troops, airstrikes and navy power to pound Gaza.

Israel has deepened its incursions into the narrow coastal strip to annihilate Hamas infrastructure and kill senior leaders, as well as its command and control systems.

So far, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, nearly 10,000 people have been killed, including 3,900 children and over 2,400 women.

Israeli authorities say at least 1,400 people have been killed and thousands have been injured in the Jewish nation.

However, ceasefire calls by world leaders and global organisations have been rejected by Israel.

On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, reiterated that operations had been intensified against Hamas with no time frame set for their activities.

Netanyahu said the only condition for a cessation of hostilities would be the return of all hostages captured by the militant group during its October 7 attack.

"There will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages. This should be completely removed from the lexicon." Netanyahu said.

However, concerned foreign nations and bodies have frowned at the prime minister's stance.

Reacting to the conflict in an X post on Tuesday, Ghebreyesus urged all parties involved to work toward a lasting peace, adding that the reward would be reaped in future.

"It has been a month of intense bombardment in #Gaza. 10,000 people have died. Over 4,000 of them were children," the WHO DG wrote.

"How long will this human catastrophe last? We urge all parties to agree to a humanitarian ceasefire and work toward lasting peace.

"We again call for the immediate release of the hostages. History will judge us all by what we do to end this tragedy."

Earlier, Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson, said there is a "desperate need for water, fuel, food and safe access to health care to survive".

The WHO official added that some doctors in Gaza have been performing operations, including amputations, without anaesthesia.

Lindmeier also said 16 health workers have been killed while on duty.

She noted that attacks on health care are forbidden by international humanitarian law.

On Monday, the United Nations said it recorded its highest count of staff fatalities owing to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

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