57 UNRWA workers killed in Gaza Strip

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At least 57 workers of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have been confirmed killed in the Gaza Strip amid the Israeli-Hamas conflict, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on Friday.

“Every day is becoming a sad day for the United Nations and UNRWA as the number of our colleagues killed increases. Today, at least 57 colleagues of mine are confirmed killed. In one day, we had confirmations that 15 were killed,” Lazzarini told a news conference.

At the same time, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) Lynne Elizabeth Hastings said that eight humanitarian aid trucks would be sent to the Gaza Strip on Friday to deliver food, water and medication, while the issue of fuel supply was not yet solved. She added that 74 trucks had already arrived in the Palestinian exclave since October 21.

“In terms of the fuel, we do not have an agreement yet from the Israelis to be able to bring fuel in,” Hastings told a news conference.

On Thursday, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that UNRWA had almost exhausted its fuel reserves in the Gaza Strip and was significantly scaling down its operations there.

On October 7, Palestinian group Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing more than 1,000 people and abducting over 200 others. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel. The escalation of the conflict has resulted in thousands of people killed and injured.

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