August 7th, 2014 17:55 EST
UN Flags at Half-mast to Honor Staff Killed in Gaza
The United Nations flag is flying at half-mast today at the world body`s New York Headquarters in memory of the UN staff members killed since the beginning of the conflict in Gaza on 8 July, and in solidarity with the families and friends of those injured.
In Gaza, flags at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) fields and installations were lowered yesterday in honour of the 11 UNRWA colleagues killed in shellings in Gaza, as well as in Syria and other field operations.
We are honoured and touched by the many expressions of sympathy and actions of support we have witnessed, " said UNRWA Commissioner General, Pierre KrÃ¤henbÃ¼hl, during an informal briefing to the General Assembly in New York.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who participated in the meeting, thanked the staff for their bravery and stressed that attacks against UN premises, along with other suspected breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated.
UNRWA schools and other buildings have been used as temporary shelters for the nearly 270,000 displaced people throughout the Gaza Strip. On 3 August, a third school in 10 days was hit.
Mr. Ban`s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, is currently in Cairo where Egyptian mediators are planning to shuttle between the Israeli and Palestinian representatives to negotiate longer-term ceasefire to the ongoing 72-hour truce.
Meanwhile, today in New York, staff will take part in a minute of silence to express solidarity with the families and friends colleagues killed in Gaza and in other conflicts around the world.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia