Indian staff member with the UN killed in Gaza | India News

NEW DELHI: An Indian personnel serving with the United Nations tragically lost their life in Gaza‘s Rafah area when the vehicle they were traveling in came under attack, marking the “first internationalcasualty for the organization since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The individual, identified as a staff member of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (DSS), was confirmed to be of Indian origin and a former member of the Indian Army, though their specific identity remains undisclosed.
The incident occurred as the UN vehicle, en route to the European Hospital in Rafah, was struck, resulting in the fatality of the Indian personnel and injuring another DSS staffer. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed profound sadness at the loss, condemning all attacks on UN personnel and urging a thorough investigation into the incident.
Guterres extended condolences to the family of the deceased staff member and reiterated the urgent need for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, emphasizing the protection of humanitarian workers.
In a statement, Guterres emphasized the toll the conflict has taken on both civilians and aid workers, stressing the imperative of an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages.
“With the conflict in Gaza continuing to take a heavy toll – not only on civilians but also on humanitarian workers – the Secretary-General reiterates his urgent appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and for the release of all hostages,” the statement added.
Responding to inquiries during a press briefing, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, confirmed that the casualties were “international staff” and highlighted that this marked the first international UN casualty during the conflict.
Haq revealed that the UN vehicle was on its way to assess security conditions at the European hospital, a routine part of their duties. He also stated that while there have been international casualties among workers for other organizations in Gaza, this incident marks the first involving UN staff.
The World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed devastation at the loss of the UN humanitarian worker, emphasizing the urgent need for a ceasefire and peace efforts.
The tragedy adds to the mounting toll of civilian and humanitarian lives in the conflict. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between October 7, 2023, and May 12, 2024, a staggering number of casualties have been reported in Gaza, with thousands killed and injured.
As the conflict persists, calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and concerted efforts towards peace continue to resonate globally.
(With inputs from agencies)

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