As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has spoken out, condemning the senseless violence and calling for an immediate end to hostilities.
The current wave of violence began on Saturday when Hamas, a terrorist group ruling over the Gaza Strip, launched a massive surprise attack on Israel, claiming the lives of over 900 people, including nine American citizens. These attacks have also resulted in the abduction of civilians, including foreign nationals.
Expressing his concern over the rising death toll and injuries, Guterres acknowledged the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people, but stressed that nothing can justify acts of terrorism or the killing and maiming of innocent civilians.
“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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Turning his attention to Israel, the secretary-general condemned the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, which have resulted in the deaths of over 500 Palestinians, including women and children, and injuries to more than 3,000. While recognizing Israel’s legitimate security concerns, Guterres reminded the nation that military operations must be in line with international humanitarian law, and civilians must be protected at all times.
In response to the Hamas attack, Israel has launched a fierce counterattack, laying siege to the Gaza Strip and halting the delivery of essential supplies to its 2.3 million inhabitants. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have also been given orders to kill or capture Hamas operatives.
The secretary-general expressed deep concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, stating that it was already dire before the recent hostilities and will now only deteriorate further. He called for the facilitation of the entry of humanitarian supplies and personnel to Gaza to address the urgent needs of the affected population.
Guterres reiterated the UN’s stance on the conflict, emphasizing that it is time to break the cycle of violence, hatred, and polarization. He called for a negotiated peace that fulfills the legitimate national aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis and provides a clear perspective for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The secretary-general stressed that the two-state solution, in line with UN resolutions, international law, and previous agreements, is the only path towards long-term stability in the region.
The secretary-general’s remarks come as Hamas continues to escalate its aggression, with threats to execute the hostages it has taken in response to Israeli strikes. As the situation in Israel and Gaza continues to deteriorate, the world looks to the UN to take a more active role in facilitating peace negotiations and ending the ongoing conflict.