International UN Worker Is Killed in Gaza

The United Nations said that a staff member was killed when one of its convoys came under fire in Rafah on Monday. It was the first time an international U.N. staff member has been killed in Gaza since the conflict began in October.

The convoy, which the U.N. said was clearly marked with the emblem of the organization, was on its way to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis to assess the aid and security situation when it came under fire, according to Farhan Haq, a U.N. spokesman.

Another staff member was injured in the attack, the U.N. said.

The nationality of the killed worker, a man, was not immediately announced. Jordan’s foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that the injured staff member, a woman, was Jordanian and said the incident was “a result of Israel’s expansion of military operations in Rafah,” adding that Jordan “holds Israel responsible for this.”

In addition to the more than 35,000 Palestinians killed in Israel’s war with Hamas, according to the Gazan health authorities, the conflict has been the deadliest one for the U.N. in its history. More than 190 U.N. staff members have been killed, Mr. Haq said, all Palestinians except for the staff member killed on Monday.

“Humanitarian workers must be protected,” António Guterres, the U.N. secretary general, said in a post on social media. “I condemn all attacks on U.N. personnel and reiterate my urgent appeal for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire & the release of all hostages.”

One senior U.N. official, who was briefed on the incident by security officials in Gaza, said an initial assessment indicated that the convoy was not struck from the air and was not caught in crossfire.

The convoy was going along its route in the morning in marked U.N. vehicles when it came under direct gunfire, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the United Nations had yet to release a public report on the incident.

Heavy fighting continued on Monday in Gaza City, Jabaliya and Rafah, the southern city where more than one million people fled to try to escape Israel’s military offensive. Mr. Haq said that 360,000 people have fled Rafah since Israel issued an evacuation order a week ago.

“We remain deeply concerned about the lack of protection for civilians and the lack of safety for humanitarian operations,” Mr. Haq said. “Civilians must be protected and have their basic needs met, whether they move or stay.”

Dr. James Smith, a British emergency specialist who was traveling between medical facilities in southern Gaza on Monday, said via text message that he had visited the European Gaza Hospital earlier in the day. Dr. Smith said the emergency room was busy with screaming patients and medical staff running through the corridors.

He said very little aid was available to displaced people seeking shelter and the scenes around the hospital were bleak.

“Khan Younis has been decimated,” Dr. Smith said.

The World Health Organization said on Monday that the Israeli incursion into Rafah had jeopardized health services, with humanitarian workers unable to deliver lifesaving medical supplies.

Mr. Haq said that the lack of fuel entering Gaza remains one of the top challenges for humanitarian aid work. Hospital generators require at least 46,000 liters of fuel per day, and the need for fuel will only grow as the fighting in Rafah expands, Mr. Haq said.

Anushka Patil contributed reporting.

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