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16 Oct, 2023 23:26

‘No humanitarian crisis’ in Gaza – Israeli ambassador

Tzipi Hotovely argued that Hamas was responsible for the wellbeing of Palestinian civilians
‘No humanitarian crisis’ in Gaza – Israeli ambassador

The Israeli ambassador to London has denied that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Gaza, arguing that the Palestinian militant group Hamas must “pay the price” for attacking Israeli civilians. 

Asked by Sky News about the situation in Gaza on Monday, Tzipi Hotovely replied: “There is no humanitarian crisis.” 

“Israel is in charge of the safety of the Israelis. Hamas is in charge of the safety of Palestinians,” the diplomat said.

She added that Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, “abused” humanitarian aid and, “instead of taking care of its people, it created [a] tunnel of terror,” using the funds to manufacture rockets, whose “main target is to hurt innocent Jews in their homes.”

“This is the time [when] Hamas needs to pay the price for … killing innocent Israelis and now preventing its own people" from evacuating, the Israeli diplomat said. “We are giving them the opportunity to go south, to sheltered places. Unfortunately, the children of Kfar Aza, the people of Sderot, were not given this opportunity.” 

On October 7, Hamas and allied groups launched a surprise attack on Israel, massacring civilians in areas near the border and taking hostages. Israel retaliated by striking targets in Gaza, and on Thursday ordered over 1 million Palestinian civilians to evacuate to the southern part of the densely populated territory.

The UN and human rights groups condemned the evacuation order. Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, warned that it would bring “devastating humanitarian consequences.” Human Rights Watch further stated that refugees would be forced to move into overcrowded homes of relatives and friends, given that the crossings with Egypt and Israel remain closed.

Hamas, meanwhile, has told residents to stay in their homes and “stand firm in the face of this disgusting psychological war” waged by Israel, according to the Guardian. 

Nevertheless, an estimated 500,000 Palestinians have fled south since the warning was issued. 

At least 2,750 Palestinians and over 1,300 Israelis have been killed since October 7, according to officials from both sides.