One of the first targets of Israeli commandos raiding the Free Gaza flotilla was the international media. Photographers were attacked, and journalists had their video, audio and other communications equipment confiscated. The equipment has still not been returned. By Mel Frykberg. June 2010.
An international chorus of condemnation has blasted Israel over its last military assault on Gaza. Operation Cast Lead, which started on 27 December 2008, has claimed the lives of 1.340 Palestinians -including 106 women and 492 children- and more than 5.300 injured.
Israel claims to be acting in self-defense against Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, but a six-month ceasfire was actually broken by an Israeli military attack on November 4, killing six Hamas militants. In retaliation for the attack, Hamas launched some 35 Qassam rockets into Israeli territory on November 5 which, in turn, provoked Israel to severely tighten its then-17-month-old economic siege of the Palestinian territory.
According to Oxford professor of International Relations Avi Shlaim, who served in the Israeli army, “Israel's objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.”
While a United Nations Security Council resolution (on January 8) called “for an immediate durable and fully respected ceasefire” that Israel refused to fulfill, the humanitan disaster continued to grow. The UN suspended its aid operations in Gaza because its staff was hit by Israeli attacks. And the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) accused the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) of deliberately delaying ambulances and not assisting the wounded, in clear violation of the Geneva Convention (1948).
Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on 17 January 2009, saying that it reached its military operation’s aims. According to the BBC, Hamas declared its own truce a bit later, quoting one of its leaders calling a ‘huge victory’ over the Israeli army, which could not affect the group’s capacity to launch rockets.
Meanwhile, 1.340 Palestinian –according to Palestinian sources- and 13 Israelis have died since the beginning of Operation ‘Cast Lead’. More than 4.000 Gaza buildings have been destroyed, and more than 20.000 were damaged. The BBC said that tens of thousands in the Gaza Strip are now homeless.
The Palestinian Farmers Union appeals to Arabic and foreign farmers unions all over the world and other international development organizations to raise funds to help to rebuild what was destroyed by Israeli war machine, especially in the fields of the agricultural sector infrastructure. 15 January 2009.
With the death toll in Gaza growing hourly, silence is complicity. It is imperative for concerned citizens to demand that their governments take immediate action in order to stop Israeli genocide in Gaza. 15 January 2009.
After Israel's devastating attack on Gaza last winter, the UN-commissioned Goldstone fact-finding team and subsequent report accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. Released in September 2009, the Goldstone report recommended that both parties conduct impartial, independent investigations into these accusations within six months, failing which, the matter would be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). February 2010.
According to several prominent Palestinians and Israelis another major Israeli military assault on Gaza, even harsher than last year’s Operation Cast Lead, is imminent. But will this change anything and have the underlying causes behind the previous bloody war been addressed? January 2010.
Palestinian civil society has strongly and almost unanimously condemned the Palestinian Authority's decision to delay action regarding the UN Fact-Finding Mission's report, headed by justice Richard Goldstone, which investigated the recent Israeli war of aggression against Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip. 5 October 2009.
Currently, the fate of one of the only remaining venues that offers a redress mechanism for Palestinians is at stake. It is one that can bring accountability of Israeli officials and decision-makers who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Sharon Weill and Valentina Azarov comment on the recent moves to amend Spain's universal jurisdiction legislation. June 2009.
Almost two months after the war on the Gaza Strip, the border area between the battered coastal enclave and Egypt continues to come under frequent Israeli aerial bombardment. Israeli officials say the strikes target cross-border tunnels used to smuggle weapons to Palestinian resistance factions. 12 March 2009.
The donor conference Monday at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt had nothing to do with alleviating the appalling humanitarian crisis in Gaza and rebuilding the homes, factories, infrastructure and schools destroyed by Israel—its ostensible purpose. This stated goal was a cover for furthering Washington's geopolitical interests in the oil-rich Middle East, by overthrowing Hamas and restoring the discredited Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas to power in Gaza so as to help police the region in American and Israel's interests. 5 March 2009.
The Israel-Palestine conflict seems to be intractable. While political perspectives may differ, it is clear that the recently ended Israeli offensive into Gaza had adverse human rights implications. A few weeks ago, while the attacks were still going on, we interviewed* Islah Jad, a Palestinian professor and activist. Israel has now declared a ceasefire. AWID spoke with Jessica Montell of B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories about the attacks and the ceasefire. 6 February 2009.
The war against the Palestinian people by the Israeli Self Defense force (IDF) has been nothing short of genocide against a people that can’t defend themselves. The American media has consistently portrayed the Israeli nation as the injured party, when in reality; it has provoked Hamas by using siege warfare against the Gaza Strip since September of 2008. 7 February 2009.
The concept of genocide has become a weapon of political polemic. But the violence inflicted on civilians in four conflicts shows how it is also rooted in the logic of modern wars, says Martin Shaw. 9 February 2009.
The strategic and diplomatic fallout from the war Gaza leaves the future of a major regional peace initiative open, says Carsten Wieland, historian and political scientist, specialising in Syria and the middle east. 5 February 2009.
The decision to refuse a charity appeal has consequences that go far beyond any of the BBC's earlier failings: as the respected British MP Tony Benn put it, "people will die because of the BBC decision." It is so blatantly unjust that the only question the BBC management might want to mull over is just how irreparable the damage from this controversy might be to its reputation. The organization that only days earlier was reporting with glee a letter by Chinese intellectuals boycotting their state media is today itself the subject of boycotts across Britain, not just by intellectuals, but by artists, scholars, citizens and even the International Atomic Energy Agency. 4 February 2009.
It is utterly misleading and dishonest to pretend -- as so many now do -- that the sum total of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a confrontation over what expired Palestinian Authority President and Israeli puppet Mahmoud Abbas himself referred to as "silly rockets." To pretend that stopping the supply of rockets will make any difference to the course of a conflict that results from the historic dispossession -- the Nakba -- of an entire nation, and its replacement with a racist rogue state that has exiled, occupied and massacred the survivors for 61 years is the height of delusion. 28 January 2009.
Although the U.S. public tended to believe Israel’s version, not the retraction, the war has caused confusion. What was this war about? Could it be as banal as gaining seats in the coming elections? That Israeli Defense and Foreign Ministers Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni have shown their voting publics they have bigger cojones than the hawkish Bibi Netanyahu? 22 January 2009.
In the long sixty-year tortured history of the Palestinian expulsion from their lands, Congress has maintained that it is always the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, and now Hamas who are to blame for all hostilities and their consequences with the Israeli government. The latest illustration of this Washington puppet show, backed by the most modern weapons and billions of taxpayer dollars annually sent to Israel, was the grotesquely one-sided Resolutions whisked through the Senate and the House of Representatives. 21 January 2009.
Israel has justified its assault on Gaza as entirely defensive, intended only to stop Hamas firing rockets on Israel's southern communities. Although that line has been repeated unwaveringly by officials since Israel launched its attack on 27 December, it bears no basis to reality. Rather, this is a war against the Palestinians of Gaza, and less directly those in the West Bank, designed primarily to crush their political rights and their hopes of statehood. 17 January 2009.
"Israel is deliberately turning itself into perhaps the most hated country in the world, and is also losing the allegiance of the population of the West, including younger American Jews, who are unlikely to tolerate its persistent shocking crimes for long. Decades ago, I wrote that those who call themselves 'supporters of Israel' are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration and probable ultimate destruction. Regrettably, that judgment looks more and more plausible. 20 January 2009.
What we have witnessed in recent weeks is the widely-predicted effect of Europe's, and the international community's, imbalanced policies towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The EU now has to restructure its failed strategy, and seek to bring the new US administration to a similar re-appraisal and policy change. In this Comment, Michael Emerson, Nathalie Tocci and Richard Youngs outline the four essential elements that such a new approach should entail. 14 January 2009.
Beyond speculation about the causes and culprits of the Gaza 2009 War, which has indeed become a chicken-and-egg exercise of finger-pointing propaganda, the results of the Israeli bombardment and invasion of the Gaza Strip will not lead to the full demise of Hamas, but rather to further postponing the possibility of a state called Palestine and peace with Israel. 16 January 2009.
In response to Israel’s continued action over Gaza, Kali Akuno argues for the intensification of the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. In a bid to properly contextualise the current developments, the author contends that events must been seen as part of a longer history of assault on the Palestinian people, a history that will only begin to be put to bed through an international solidarity movement aimed at restoring Palestinian rights. 15 January 2009.
All signs increasingly point to an Israeli assault in Gaza which contravenes international legal norms relating in particular to proportionality and collective punishment. This response, tragically, is but the latest in an escalating series of measures which not only fail to protect the Israeli people from terrorist attacks but further fan the flames of conflict across the region. 13 January 2009.
The real path to peace in the Middle East, requiring the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, is dependent on Israel's recognition of its responsibility to ensure economic justice in the Palestinian territories. 9 January 2009.
The people of Gaza are victims of geopolitics at its inhumane worst: producing what Israel itself calls a 'total war' against an essentially defenseless society that lacks any defensive military capability whatsoever and is completely vulnerable to Israeli attacks. 7 January 2009.
As Israel rejected the terms of the proposed United Nations ceasefire at the weekend, Israeli military analysts were speculating on the nature of the next stage of the attack on Gaza, or the "third phase" of the fighting as it is being referred to. 12 January 2009.
Many accuse Israel of having learned nothing from its defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. They are wrong – Israel learned one very important lesson: along with the battle on the ground, you need to wage an effective media war as well. 12 January 2009.
A selection of articles on the situation in Gaza since the unilateral disengagement plan carried out by Israel in 2005. Since then the territory not only remained under Israeli military control but also the Palestinian population has been suffering an increasing blockade which deprived them of food, fuel, potable water, medicines and educational materials. According to civil society organizations and observers, like Rohini Hensman, Avi Shlaim, and Ilan Pappe, what has been taking place in Gaza is nothing else but slow-motion genocide against the Palestinian population.
Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions.
The horror now raining on Gaza has little to do with Hamas or, absurdly, "Israel's right to exist." They know the opposite to be true: that Palestine's right to exist was canceled 61 years ago and the expulsion and, if necessary, extinction of the indigenous people was planned and executed by the founders of Israel.
Why is it that there is such widespread acceptance, beginning with the apologetic arguments of President Bush, that whatever Israel does is always justified as necessary to the survival of the Jewish state? It is not.
The Israeli airstrikes represent serious violations of international law —including the Geneva Conventions and a range of international humanitarian law— and the U.S. is complicit in all of it, says Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies.
The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to back their words with effective action to secure the ending of the Israeli blockade which is preventing reconstruction and recovery, say a group of 16 leading humanitarian and human rights groups in a new report released ahead of the anniversary of the start of Israel's military offensive in Gaza. December 2009.
Although the numbers of victims and casualties illustrate the appalling human toll of this conflict, the true extent of the suffering lies in the day-to-day reality of life in the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead, as civilians struggle to rebuild their lives, come to terms with their loss, and restore some semblance of human dignity. October 2009 (pdf).
Israel's claim to 'self-defence' as the legal pretext for 'Operation Cast Lead,' the latest and most destructive in a string of regular large-scale military offensives against the Gaza Strip since 2006, received widespread and often unconditional acceptance from the international diplomatic community as justification for the Israeli attacks. 'Operation Cast Lead' was not the first time that Israel has cited Article 51 of the UN Charter as justification for military operations or unlawful acts within or against the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT); nor, in fact, the last. April 2009.
Both Israel and Hamas used weapons supplied from abroad to carry out attacks on civilians. This briefing contains fresh evidence on the munitions used during the three-week conflict in Gaza and southern Israel and includes information on the supplies of arms to all parties to the conflict. It explains why Amnesty International is calling for a cessation of arms supplies to the parties to the conflict and calling on the United Nations to impose a comprehensive arms embargo. 23 February 2009.
“We are hitting not only terrorists and launchers, but also the whole Hamas government and all its wings […] After this operation there will not be one Hamas building left standing in Gaza, and we plan to change the rules of the game.” - Brigadier General Dan Harel.
As EU Foreign Ministers meet in Prague, Amnesty International urged them to spare no efforts to pressure Israel to end attacks which are directed at civilians or civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip or are disproportionate, and to allow much needed humanitarian access to the region. 8 January 2009.
Since 2008 the Free Gaza Movement and a loose coalition of human rights activists and pro-Palestinian groups have been sending boats and landing or attempting to land supplies to break the Gaza blockade, including medical equipment and drugs and building materials. This time the six-ship flotilla, the largest to date, carrying 600 passengers –believed to include the Swedish author Henning Mankell and the Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire– was organised by ship to Gaza groups in Greece and Sweden, the Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organisation and the Turkish-based IHH, the foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief, all coordinated by Free Gaza. May 31st 2010.
"To shoot an elephant" is an eye witness account from The Gaza Strip. December 27th, 2008, Operation Cast Lead. 21 days shooting elephants. Urgent, insomniac, dirty, shuddering images from the only foreigners who decided and managed to stay embedded inside Gaza strip ambulances, with Palestinian civilians. January 2010.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) are severely distressed by the escalation of the international humanitarian law and human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and strongly condemn the wide scale aerial offensive by the Israeli Defence Forces in the Gaza Strip which started on December 27th, 2008 and killed almost 300 Palestinians injuring almost 400 more. The events of December 27th makes it the single deadliest day in the Gaza strip since the occupation in 1967. 29 December 2008.
The Arab Association for Human Rights - HRA was one of fifteen human rights, humanitarian and peace organizations, that called on the European Union (EU) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to take strong and immediate action to hold Israel accountable for grave breaches of international humanitarian law and gross violations of international human rights law. 11 February 2009.
In view of the recent three-week premeditated campaign of bombing of the population of Gaza and its infrastructure by the State of Israel which came after a crippling, illegal two-year siege, 14 member organizations of SKOP, the Maltese national platform of development non-governmental organizations, call for a suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. 30 January 2009.
Israel's actions amount to an illegal act of aggression and there is growing evidence that the circumstances in which many of the civilians were killed may amount not only to war crimes but also crimes against humanity. 28 January 2009.
George Galloway, the finest speaker in the British Parliament, lambasts the Government for its complicity in the Gaza massacre, suggesting it takes a more active, just, role in resolving the conflict, given its responsibility dates as far back as 1917 when Arthur Balfour promised Zionist colonisers a home in Palestine. 18 January 2009.
The People's Health Movement condemns the brutal attack on Palestinians and demand an immediate stop to Israel's ongoing military attack on Gaza. People's Health Movement is a global coalition of grassroot health and peace activists fighting injustice, ill health and poverty, worldwide. 31 December 2008.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the arrest of two Palestinian journalists from Gaza who are detained by Israeli military authorities since 5 January 2009. 13 January 2009.
In a letter sent to the UN Security Council, FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen expressed her «horror at the destruction and the terrible loss of human lives in Gaza» in the context of operation Cast Lead, denoucing the flagrant and serious violation of international humanitarian law, which constitute “war crimes, if not crimes against humanity”. 8 January 2009.
As local, regional and international human rights organisations concerned with respect for international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), and in all situations of armed conflict, it is in both desperation and hope that we write to call for the urgent reconvening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. 9 January 2009.
The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.
The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) condemns the prolonged border blockade, the on-going air and ground attacks on Gaza and missile attacks on Israel. The world’s largest anti-poverty alliance calls upon the international community to intervene to bring about an immediate ceasefire so goods and people can move freely through Gaza’s borders.
“This week's war is not an attack on the Izzidin al-Qassam units -our movement's military wing- but is simply aggression targeting the people, infrastructure and economic life of Gaza, designed to sow terror and loose anarchy; it aims to establish new ‘facts on the ground’ -that is, heaps of rubble with bodies trapped beneath- in advance of the coming American administration.”
The UN Mission found that, in the lead up to the Israeli military assault on Gaza, Israel imposed a blockade amounting to collective punishment and carried out a systematic policy of progressive isolation and deprivation of the Gaza Strip. September 2009. (PDF).
Israeli forces killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza in attacks which breached the laws of war, Amnesty International concluded in a new report published on Thursday. 'Operation Cast Lead: 22 days of death and destruction', is the first comprehensive report to be published on the conflict, which took place earlier this year. July 2009.
This 39-page report details six incidents resulting in 29 civilian deaths, among them eight children. Human Rights Watch found that Israeli forces failed to take all feasible precautions to verify that these targets were combatants, as required by the laws of war, or that they failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians. Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have reported a total of 42 drone attacks that killed civilians, 87 in all, during the fighting in December 2008 and January 2009. June 2009.
The first investigation into the three-week war by anyone other than human rights researchers and journalists held the Israeli government responsible in seven separate cases in which UN property was damaged and UN staff and other civilians were hurt or killed. However, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, rejected the report's call for a full and impartial investigation into the war, and refused to publish the complete 184-page report. Only Ban's own summary of the report has been released. Israel rejected the inquiry's findings, even before the summary was released, as "tendentious" and "patently biased". 5 May 2009.
A report published by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, gives room for concern that during the operation in Gaza, Israeli soldiers repeatedly acted in violation of the army's code of ethics, the medical code of ethics, and basic human values. These actions suggest repeated violations of the International Law regarding the treatment of the ill and the wounded and the protection of medical personnel. 23 March 2009.
Based on testimony from Israeli soldiers who took part in the recent war in Gaza, Israel is being confronted directly with the serious charge that permissive rules of engagement allowed for the killing of Palestinian civilians and widespread destruction of Palestinian property. 19 March 2009.
Lack of international action against Israel's war on Gaza illustrates the grand hypocracy of human rights rhetoric. But civilian groups can now use international law to show the 'legitimacy gap' of Israeli government tactics in the Palestinian territories, argues Richard Falk. 19 March 2009.
Israel is bracing for a wave of lawsuits accusing the Jewish state of substantial human rights violations during its 22-day military assault on Gaza which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead and nearly 5,000 wounded, more than half of them civilian. 17 February 2009.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague announced a preliminary analysis into whether Israel committed war crimes during the recent Gaza war, following the Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) move to recognise the ICC's authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 3 February 2009.
Both international organisations and human rights groups, including the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have condemned Israel's use of unconventional weapons in civilian areas of the Gaza Strip. Amnesty International's chief researcher for Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Donatella Rovera, told IPS in Beit Lahiya that Israel's use of white phosphorus and other "area weapons" on civilian populations amounted to war crimes. 22 January 2009.
The brutal and indiscriminate Israeli attacks on the Palestinian population in Gaza during the last weeks have entailed numerous violations of basic norms of international law, such as the principles of proportionality and distinction (between civilians and combatants; and between civilian and military targets). Military acts such as intentionally targeting schools and other civilian facilities are considered violations of international humanitarian law in relation to which the state of Israel bears responsibility -- but they also constitute serious crimes under international law (e.g., war crimes and eventually crimes against humanity) in relation to which individuals should stand trial. 17 January 2009.
At least 300 children are among the more than 1,000 Palestinians who have died since Israel began to bombard the Gaza Strip on December 27. Al Jazeera has obtained the names of 210 of the young victims, 44 of which were under five years old.
Under customary international humanitarian law, the principle of distinction holds that civilians and civilian objects, including hospitals and humanitarian facilities cannot be subject to attack. Under Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, reflective of customary international humanitarian law, it is explicitly prohibited to attack, fire upon, or in any way to prevent hospitals or medical units from performing their medical and humanitarian duties. Similarly, it is a provision of customary international humanitarian law that personnel, transports and compounds of humanitarian relief operations must be respected and protected under all circumstances. 16 January 2009.
Mounting evidence is emerging that Israel is experimenting new non-conventional weapons on civilian population in Gaza. “It is happening again what we saw in Lebanon two years ago”, says Paola Manduca, genetics teacher and researcher at the University of Genoa and member of New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC), “where Israel used white phosphorus, Dense inert metal explosive (DIME), thermobaric bombs, cluster bombs and uranium ammunitions and experimented novel weapons and delivery modalities. Still today there are unexploded bombs and radioactivity on the ground”. PDF.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has announced that it plans to organise a wide ranging investigation into Israeli actions against media during the current conflict in Gaza after another building housing media organisations was struck by Israeli missiles. 15 January 2009.
Based on the overwhelming evidence available, one conclusion can be drawn regarding the nature of the US-backed Israeli attacks on Gaza: a genuine massacre of ordinary, unarmed people has been taking place for over two weeks. Here is just a small part of the documentary evidence to prove it. 14 January 2009.
It is literally mindboggling for Palestinians to see how some people still need convincing that what Israel is perpetrating in the Gaza Strip is nothing short of war crimes. What more needs to happen for this to be an indisputable fact? 14 January 2009.
Israel's current assault on the Gaza Strip cannot be justified by self-defense. Rather, it involves serious violations of international law, including war crimes. Senior Israeli political and military leaders may bear personal liability for their offenses, and they could be prosecuted by an international tribunal, or by nations practicing universal jurisdiction over grave international crimes. Hamas fighters have also violated the laws of warfare, but their misdeeds do not justify Israel's acts. 13 January 2009.
A conference held in Cairo devoted to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip succeeded in raising more than 5 billion dollars from international donors. But some critics say the issue is being used as a means of isolating Gaza-based resistance faction Hamas. 5 March 2009.
In its latest Protection of Civilians Weekly Report, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) denounced there is no safe space in the Gaza Strip—no safe haven, no bomb shelters, and the borders are closed and civilians have no place to flee. United Nations facilities have also come under fire. (PDF). 9 January, 2009.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told a special session of the Human Rights Council, which meets on 9 January to discuss “the grave violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression in the occupied Gaza Strip”, that the violence must stop.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on 8 January 2009, “expressing grave concern at the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the situation” and calling “for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza”. The resolution “condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism”, although avoiding to hold Israel accountable for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as the occupying force in the territory.
This section includes reports, press releases and other resources published by the humanitarian orgnanizations in the occupied Palestinian (oPt), including OCHA, UN Agencies and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).