UN wants strengthened, empowered Palestinian govt: Spokesman

United Nations, Feb 27 (IANS): The United Nations (UN) wants to see a strengthened and empowered Palestinian government, a spokesman of the world body has said in response to the resignation of the government led by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres takes note of Monday's announcement by Shtayyeh that he handed his government's resignation to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN chief.

"A strengthened, empowered Palestinian government that can administer the whole of the occupied Palestinian territory is critical as part of a path to achieving the establishment of a fully independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable Palestinian state, on the basis of the 1967 lines, of which Gaza is an integral part, which remains the only way to achieve a lasting peace," the spokesman was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

The UN stands ready to continue supporting efforts aimed at overcoming the humanitarian, political, financial as well as security challenges facing the Palestinian people, he told a daily press briefing.

Turning to the situation on the ground, the spokesman said the Palestine Red Crescent Society, supported by the World Health Organization and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has completed the evacuation of 72 critical patients from Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The UN Population Fund reports that newborns are dying in Gaza because their mothers are unable to attend prenatal or postnatal checkups while the incessant bombings, fleeing for safety and anxiety are leading to premature births, said the spokesman.

In its daily update on the situation in Gaza, OCHA said intense Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea continued to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip on Monday, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of civilian infrastructure.

Ground operations and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups also continued. Between Friday and Monday, tens of rockets were reportedly fired by armed Palestinian groups toward Israel, said OCHA.

Since October 7, 2023, at least 29,782 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and 70,043 Palestinians have been injured, OCHA quoted the Ministry of Health in Gaza as saying.



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Title: UN wants strengthened, empowered Palestinian govt: Spokesman

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