The UN official responsible for refugees, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres, has declared that civilians who wish to flee fighting in the Gaza Strip must be allowed to pass across borders. Both parties should not deny access at their borders to anyone attempting to avoid the fighting. In addition, he called on both Israelis and Palestinians to abide by international humanitarian principles in all conduct.
A variety of organs of the UN have expressed increasing concern over the continuing violence in Gaza. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, in addition to Mr. Guterres, have pressed for an end to the fighting and for increased access for humanitarian aid workers and supplies.
Although humanitarian efforts through agencies like UNICEF and the World Food Programme are ongoing, the humanitarian crisis continues to worsen.
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