UN Secretary-General says 'horror' in Gaza must stop immediately

Guterres said that the humanitarian organisations must have full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to reach all civilians in need across Gaza

By WAM

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Wed 29 May 2024, 1:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 May 2024, 1:10 PM

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned in the strongest terms the air strikes on Rafah hitting tents sheltering displaced people.

Heartbroken by the images of the killed and injured, including many small children, he said, "the horror and suffering must stop immediately."


This came in a statement attributed to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, where Guterres grieved for the over 36,000 Palestinians and some 1,500 Israelis killed in the relentless violence.

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He added that the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is now compounded by the unconscionable prospect of a man-made famine.

The Secretary-General reiterated his demand for an immediate ceasefire and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. He recalled the recent orders of the International Court of Justice, which are binding and must be complied with.

He noted, "The Israeli authorities must allow, facilitate and enable the immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian supplies assistance to those in need and all crossing points must be open in line with Security Council resolution 2720 (2023)."

Guterres said that the humanitarian organisations must have full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to reach all civilians in need across Gaza.

The UN Chief added, "We must work expeditiously to restore security, dignity and hope for the affected population. This will require urgent efforts to support and strengthen the new Palestinian Government and its institutions, including preparing the Palestinian Authority to reassume its responsibilities in Gaza. We must also move forward with tangible and irreversible steps to create a political horizon."

He stated that the devastation and misery of the past seven months "have reinforced the absolute need for Israelis, Palestinians, the States of the region and the broader international community to take urgent steps that will enable the parties to re-engage on the long-delayed political path to achieve a two-state solution. The UN will continue to support all such efforts."

The International Court of Justice issued a decision on May 24, demanding that Israel immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah and any other actions in the governorate located in the southern Gaza, that "create living conditions that could cause the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population, in whole or in part."

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