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MSF criticizes US at UN over Gaza crisis, reveals children as young as 5 express desire for death

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In a poignant address to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) revealed a grim reality unfolding in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing conflict.

MSF’s International Secretary General, Christopher Lockyear, unveiled a chilling new acronym coined by medical teams in Gaza: WCNSF – wounded child, no surviving family. Lockyear emphasized the profound psychological toll on children, stating that some as young as five expressed a preference for death, bearing witness to the horrors of war.

Expressing deep concern, Lockyear rebuked the United States for its repeated use of veto power, obstructing council efforts to secure an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants, notably Hamas in Gaza. He underscored the urgent need for an immediate and sustained ceasefire, denouncing anything short of such action as gross negligence.

The US has vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions since the conflict began on Oct. 7, including a recent rejection of a demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. Instead, the US has advocated for a temporary ceasefire linked to negotiations for the release of hostages held by Hamas, drawing criticism from other council members.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun expressed dismay at Lockyear’s depiction of the situation in Gaza, urging council members to reflect on the humanitarian crisis unfolding. Meanwhile, the US defended its stance, citing concerns about jeopardizing ongoing talks aimed at brokering a pause in the conflict and securing the release of hostages.

Lockyear’s briefing resonated deeply with council members, with Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward describing it as “harrowing.” Slovenia’s U.N. Ambassador Samuel Zbogar questioned the council’s response to MSF’s distressing report, highlighting the need for action in the face of such suffering.

The conflict, initiated by Hamas militants’ attack on Israel in October, has resulted in significant casualties and widespread devastation in Gaza. Lockyear concluded his address with a poignant question to the council, urging them to consider the risks faced by MSF staff as they continue their lifesaving work amidst the ongoing crisis.

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