Middle East

There are no UN-designated safe zones in Gaza: UN

UNITED NATIONS — A UN spokesman has refuted the US claim that civilians in Gaza should seek refuge in UN-designated safe places.

In response to US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller’s suggestion that Gazans should seek refuge in UN-designated sites that are listed by Israel as “deconfliction zones”, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said on Tuesday there are no such things in Gaza, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Well, let’s be clear. There are no UN-designated safe zones in Gaza. I think all my senior colleagues have been very clear, including the secretary-general, saying there are no safe places in Gaza,” said Dujarric.

“There are shelters that fly the UN flag that are sheltering thousands and thousands and thousands of people — men, women, and children who are trying to stay alive and get some food, get some water. We have seen, since the beginning of this conflict, that those places that fly the UN flag are not safe either,” he said.

Asked where people in Gaza should go when they are ordered to evacuate, Miller said, “People should go to the UN-designated sites where — that are on Israeli lists as deconfliction zones that should not be the target of military campaigns.”

“There are already people who are sheltering in those. As the (Israeli military) campaign moves to the south (of Gaza) and Israel evacuates specific neighbourhoods or orders specific neighbourhoods to be evacuated, that is where people should go,” he said. — (IANS)