Antonio Guterres spoke out on the conflict between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas. The war has intensified in the last 48 hours. The UN official condemned both sides and highlighted the carnage.
Guterres directed the majority of his criticism at Israel. Israel is currently retaliating for a massive surprise Hamas attack that took place on Saturday, in which over 900 people were killed, including nine Americans.
Guterres stated, “I understand the legitimate grievances the Palestinians have, but nothing could justify the terror, killings, maimings, and abductions of civilians.” “I call on all parties to stop these attacks immediately and free the hostages.”
The secretary-general turned his attention back to Israel and criticized the nation’s counterattack against Hamas.
Israeli airstrikes have bombarded Gaza in response to these unprecedented attacks. I am deeply concerned by the reports that over 500 Palestinians including women and kids, have been killed in Gaza and more than 3,000 others injured. These numbers continue to rise as Israeli operations go on. Israel has legitimate concerns about its security, but I remind Israel that all military operations must adhere to international humanitarian law. Civilians must always be respected and safeguarded. Infrastructure civile must never be targeted.
Israel announced on Monday that it had imposed a siege on the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is governed by Hamas. Israel took the action to allow its Defense Forces to capture or kill Hamas operatives.
Israel’s military imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip on Monday. It halted deliveries of fuel, food, and other supplies to the 2.3 million residents of the territory, as it bombarded the Hamas-ruled area with airstrikes.
After a surprise attack by Hamas, Israel’s military announced that it had gained a majority of control over the southern towns in which it was battling Hamas armed men. Hamas’s surprise attack caught Israel’s renowned military and intelligence apparatus completely off-guard, leading to heavy street battles for the first time in decades.
Guterres has condemned the move and warned that it could cause an even greater humanitarian crisis in the area.
Before the hostilities, the humanitarian situation in Gaza had been extremely bad. It will continue to deteriorate. It is urgently needed that humanitarian workers have access to medical equipment, food, and fuel. The UN will continue to work to meet these needs, including facilitating the entry of vital supplies and relief into Gaza.
The Secretary-General argued that “it is time to end this vicious cycle of bloodshed and hatred” and advocated the two-state resolution the UN has been advocating for years.
He said that “Israel’s legitimate security needs must be met, and Palestinians need to see their state established in a clear way.” Only a negotiated agreement that satisfies both the national aspirations and security of Palestinians and Israelis can provide long-term stability for the people in this region and beyond.
“Nothing can justify these acts of terror and the killing, maiming and abduction of civilians.”
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, delivers a statement on the Israel-Hamas war.
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Guterres made his remarks at a time when Hamas was becoming more aggressive in their efforts against Israel. Recently, the organization threatened to start executing hostages as a response to Israeli reprisal strikes.