Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, Britain, 02 November 2023. EFE/EPA/TOLGA AKMEN / POOL

Guterres calls situation in Gaza ‘nightmare’ and ‘crisis of humanity’

United Nations, Nov 6 (EFE) – UN Secretary General António Guterres said Monday in a statement to the press that “the nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis, it is a crisis of humanity.”

The UN chief also said he was “concerned about clear violations of International Humanitarian law that we are witnessing,” implying that both parties were responsible for violations.

Guterres said the “ground operation” and “continued bombardment” by the Israeli Defense Forces “are hitting civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches and UN facilities, including shelters. No one is safe.”

“At the same time,” the leader continued, turning to the other side, “Hamas and other militants use civilians as human shields and continue to launch rockets indiscriminately toward Israel.” He also reiterated his “utter condemnation” of the ” abhorrent acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas” on Oct. 7.

“The way forward is clear: a humanitarian cease-fire. Now,” he demanded.

Giving an overview of the desperate humanitarian situation in the Palestinian enclave, the Secretary-General said that the trucks currently entering from Egypt through the Rafah crossing are insufficient because they do not include fuel, saying that the “trickle of assistance does not meet the ocean of need.”

Without fuel, Guterres said, water cannot be purified, while babies in incubators or patients on ventilators will die.

Guterres made a series of demands of both the Israeli authorities and Hamas, such as the release of hostages or the delivery of more humanitarian aid, and said that none of these goals could be conditioned on the resolution of the others.

The Portuguese head of the international organization said, “More journalists have reportedly been killed over a four-week period than in any conflict in at least three decades. More United Nations aid workers have been killed than in any comparable period in the history of our organization.”

He also sent a message of caution in the face of rising anti-Semitism and intolerance against Muslims around the world.

Guterres urged for “a way out of this brutal, awful, agonizing dead end of destruction” and reiterated his call for a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

Assistance fund

Guterres announced on Monday the launch of a $1.2 billion fund for 2.7 million Palestinians, both in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

Thehead of the UN specified that the fund will be promoted by “the UN and our partners” and will serve to help the entire population of Gaza and half a million West Bankers.

Subsequently, Guterres’ spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, explained that this figure has been calculated taking into account the needs of all UN agencies working in Palestine, and specified that despite the current difficulties of access to Gaza, the idea is to have a fund ready for when access conditions improve. EFE