UN Flags At Half-Mast For Staff Killed In Gaza

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) GENEVA - Flags flew at half-mast at UN compounds across the globe on Monday, as staff observed a minute's silence for the more than 100 colleagues killed in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war.

The blue and white United Nations flag was first lowered at 9:30am local time at offices in Bangkok, Tokyo and Beijing, and later, other UN offices followed suit.

The UN agency for supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) announced on Friday that 101 of its employees had died in the Gaza Strip since the war erupted just over a month ago.

And on Sunday, the UN reported "a significant number of deaths and injuries" in strikes on one of its facilities in Gaza.

"UNRWA staff in Gaza appreciate the UN lowering the flag around the world," the agency director in the Gaza Strip Tom White, said in a statement.

"In Gaza however, we have to keep the UN flag flying high as a sign that we are still standing and serving the people of Gaza."

Israel has been relentlessly bombarding the Gaza Strip since October 7. More than 11,000 people, most of them civilians and many of them children, have been killed in Gaza in strikes by Israel, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

In Geneva, the second-largest UN headquarters after New York, the UN flag on Monday flew at half-mast and none of the other flags of the 193 member countries were hoisted along the main alley of the compound.

Staff were also invited to hold a "private" minute of silence, spokesman Rolando Gomez said.

"Over the last month, 101 of our colleagues have lost their lives in Gaza," Tatiana Valovaya, director-general of the UN Office at Geneva, told the dozens of staff members gathered for the ceremony.

"This is the highest number of aid workers killed in the history of our organisation in such a short time."

Events were also held in Kathmandu and Kabul, where the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Roza Otunbayeva led about 250 people in observing the minute's silence.


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