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“If We Are To Die, Let It Be Sooner Than Later”: UN Staff’s SOS From Gaza

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Gaza casualties have crossed the 2,000 mark, according to UN estimates

New Delhi:

As Israel gears up for a ground offensive against Hamas, over 2 million Gaza residents caught in the crossfire are facing a struggle for survival.

The Israeli Defence Forces, who have launched a brutal retaliation to the Hamas attacks last weekend that claimed about 1,300 lives, have given Gaza city residents a three-hour window to move to the south of the Strip.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN arm working in the region, has shared a short video showing WhatsApp messages from a UN staffer stuck amid the war in Gaza. Twelve UN staff members have already died in the war, the organisation has said. The UN has said the total number of casualties in Gaza is 2,228.

“‘Please help us’ The situation in the#GazaStrip is unbearable. These are the messages we’re receiving from our @UNRWA colleagues,” UNRWA’s post on X, formerly Twitter, reads.

The video shows messages by UN staff member Helen. She writes that she has asked the whole family to stay in the same room as airstrikes ring through the Strip. “If we are to be killed, let us all die together.”

She writes that they had been buried under the rubble, but escaped with minor injuries.

“They bombed the whole square. There are tens of dead bodies. Oh God, Oh God, please help us. If we are destined to die, please let it be sooner rather than later,” she wrote.

The UNRWA also shared the video of a staff member, Rawya, speaking about the “unprecedented” situation in Gaza.

“The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is dire. Our @UNRWA colleague Rawya reports the desperate need for food, water, and medicine for the people fleeing their homes who are now dying without these supplies available,” the post reads.

“Please save Gaza, I beg you, save Gaza, It’s dying,” the UN staff member is heard saying.

The UN has earlier warned against mass relocation for the 2 million residents of Gaza Strip to avoid the tragedy turn into a “calamitous situation”. “The UN considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences,” it said.