Consul General Highlights Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in Israel

Yinam Cohen, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, during a Q & A session with Rabbi Emily Barton after speaking Thursday night at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines. Cohen took questions from the audience, including questions regarding international support for the war.Photo: Andrew Houp

(Des Moines, IA) -- A little over 100 people attended a presentation at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in Des Moines Thursday evening by Yinam Cohen, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, discussing the ongoing conditions of the Israel-Hamas war.

"The numbers are huge," I hear different numbers, but it appears to be between 200 and 300 people, bodies that are unidentified, three weeks after the attack," Cohen said. "This is something we have never seen before."

He says that while there are many displaced Palestinians, there is a very large number of displaced Israelis.

"I want people to remember there are hundreds of thousands of displaced Israelis, but the number is probably much higher," Cohen said. "We're talking about 100,000 on our northern border that have been displaced, this is a serious humanitarian issue, in terms of housing, in terms of access to health services, in terms of access to education."

Part of the presentation included a question and answer session with Rabbi Emily Barton, asking questions submitted by members of the audience, including about support for Israel in the United Nations.

"It's a long process, I'm very proud with the leadership of the United States in the United Nations," Cohen said in response, "the Cabinet of the United Nations, they wanted to impose a ceasefire... the United States said no. The U.S. has the power to veto."

NBC reports that more than 6,546 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the enclave's health spokesman. In Israel, 1,400 people have been killed, including 308 members of the Israeli forces.

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