UN Chief Says Gaza is ‘Becoming a Graveyard for Children’
08:54PM Wed 8 Nov, 2023
New Delhi: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza Strip on Monday, which he said was “becoming a graveyard for children.”
“The unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with every passing hour,” Guterres said. “…The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity.”
Guterres said the international community had an “immediate and fundamental responsibility” to dramatically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has partially reopened, Hamas officials said Monday. About 450 trucks carrying aid have been allowed to enter through the crossing so far.
However, for the 2.2 million Palestinians living in the strip, Guterres said this “trickle of assistance does not meet the ocean of need.”
Guterres also spoke on Israel’s refusal to allow fuel into the Gaza Strip, which it claims would be used by Hamas.
“Without fuel, newborn babies in incubators and patients on life support will die. The way forward is clear. A humanitarian ceasefire — now. All parties respecting all their obligations under international humanitarian law,” he said.
The diplomat, who angered Israel in late October by suggesting the Hamas attack had not taken place in a vacuum, again voiced shock over the, “clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing.”
Guterres also forcefully condemned Hamas’ “abhorrent acts of terror” and repeated his call for the release of over 200 Israelis taken hostage by the militant group on October 7.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel would take “security responsibility” over the strip after the war.
“Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility,” he said in a television interview with ABC News. “When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine.”
Netanyahu also said once again that there would be no ceasefire in Gaza until hostages were released by Hamas.
“I think [a ceasefire] will hamper the war effort,” Netanyahu said. “It’ll hamper our effort to get our hostages out because the only thing that works on these criminals in Hamas is the military pressure that we’re exerting.”
The death toll in Gaza exceeded 10,000 people on Monday. Internet connectivity and cellular services were also gradually restored following a total communications blackout Sunday evening.