Sunday 21 July 2024

UN chief says Gaza becoming 'graveyard for children', urges immediate ceasefire

The United Nations secretary general says the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been under a genocidal war by the Israeli regime for over a month now, is turning into "a graveyard for children."

"Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being martyred or injured every day," Antonio Guterres told reporters on Monday.


The UN chief said clear violations of international humanitarian law are being committed during the war, adding that the Zionist regime is simultaneously targeting "civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches, and UN facilities – including shelters. No one is safe."


The Israeli offensives has so far claimed the lives of as many as 89 people working for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, he noted, adding that the figure was higher "than in any comparable period in the history of our organization."


Calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, Guterres said, "We must act now to find a way out of this brutal, awful, agonizing dead end of destruction."


"The unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with every passing hour," the UN chief added.


He stressed that protection of civilians in the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza "must be paramount."


"The parties to the conflict -- and, indeed, the international community -- face an immediate and fundamental responsibility: to stop this inhuman collective suffering and dramatically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza," Guterres said, adding, "The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity."


According to Guterres, just over 400 trucks had crossed into Gaza over the past two weeks, compared with 500 a day before the war.


"The Rafah crossing alone," which is Gaza's only land terminal that bypasses the occupied territories, "does not have the capacity to process aid trucks at the scale required," he said, adding, "The trickle of assistance does not meet the ocean of need."


"Without fuel, newborn babies in incubators and patients on life support will die," Guterres warned.


Zionist regime launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory's Palestinian resistance movements waged the surprise Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Zionist regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.


The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza announced on Monday that the death toll from the incessant Israeli bombardment of the coastal territory stood at 10,022 people, including 4,104 children and 2,641 women. It added that the number of those wounded over the past 31 days had risen to 25,408.


The regime has also cut off one of the most densely-populated places in the world from basic supplies such as water, electricity, medicines, and fuel. Shortage of medical supplies and food has left 2.3 million Palestinians at risk of starvation.

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