THE ILO Director-General, Gilbert F. Houngbo, has issued a statement on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory deploring the death toll on either side of the conflict.
While condemning as unprecedented the attacks by Hamas against Israel which resulted in more than 1,400 deaths and at least 200 abductions of Israeli and international civilians, Mr Houngbo also deplored the deaths of thousands of civilians in Gaza, including UN staff, as a consequence of Israeli military action in response to these attacks.
While extending his deepest condolences to the families of all those affected by the ongoing conflict, Houngbo also expressed his support for the UN Secretary-General’s call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the release of the hostages.
He urged all parties to ensure the protection of all workers in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory who have been affected by this crisis, including workers from Gaza working in Israel, and all health and aid workers who are providing vital assistance on the ground.
“The hostilities have resulted in – and continue to cause – not only tragic loss of human life, but also an unprecedented loss of livelihoods, jobs, income, businesses, and civilian infrastructure, with a devasting impact on labour markets in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel,” Houngbo said adding that the ILO is currently providing emergency assistance to Palestinian workers who are facing dire living conditions because of this crisis and is working to put in place a programme focusing on social protection, skills, jobs and small business recovery.
“Of particular concern is the situation of the estimated 18,000-20,000 Gazan daily workers in Israel.
“The ILO stands ready to continue working with other UN agencies, the international community, and our partners to assist and support the impacted communities, within the terms of our mandate.”