UN Chief Urges Immediate Gaza Ceasefire, Decries Humanitarian Crisis

UN Chief Urges Immediate Gaza Ceasefire, Decries Humanitarian Crisis

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip, where Israel's brutal military campaign has persisted for over three months.

Guterres made the plea during a press briefing in New York on Monday, marking the 101st day of the ongoing Israeli genocidal war.

Israel initiated its military offensive on October 7, 2023, following Gaza's operation against the Israeli occupiers. The brutal onslaught has resulted in the loss of over 24,000 Palestinian lives, predominantly women and children, with thousands wounded and millions displaced, according to the United Nations. Approximately 85 percent of the territory's population has been forced into crowded shelters due to the conflict.

Guterres emphasized the need for an immediate ceasefire to address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, stating, "We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to ensure sufficient aid gets to where it is needed." Describing the conditions as "beyond words," he highlighted the challenges faced by aid deliveries, leading Gaza towards "the long shadow of starvation."

The UN chief expressed concern over the collective punishment of the Palestinian people, condemning the Israeli onslaught. He underscored the urgency of a ceasefire to prevent wider escalation and miscalculation in the conflict.

Highlighting the toll on UN personnel, Guterres noted that the organization's Palestinian staff faced displacement, with 152 members killed – the largest single loss of life in UN history. He stressed, "Nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people."

Guterres warned of the conflict's spillover effect, particularly in southern Lebanon, where sporadic Israeli attacks have led to clashes with Hezbollah. He emphasized the risk of broader escalation, impacting regional stability.

The UN chief also noted the need for a ceasefire to facilitate the release of Israeli captives in Gaza. The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has consistently rejected talks on captives' release until the Israeli onslaught ceases completely.

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