“Pwe held a call with the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] and when that connection occurs, it will occur,” Dujarric said, adding that this does not prevent the UN “from maintaining functional contacts with Israel.”
The only contact made public so far is that which Guterres had with the Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, who does not hold executive power. To Herzog, Guterres insisted on “the need to respect international law, to protect civilians and to protect UN facilities”, said the spokesman, referring to the schools where refugees are sheltering.
Dujarric insisted that Guterres “says the same thing in private as he says in public” about the situation of civilians.
The spokesperson was also asked why Guterres did not travel to Israel on his last trip to the region – he went to Cairo and to the Rafah border, between Egypt and Gaza -, to which he replied: “The secretary-general Always take into account where your presence is most useful.”
Israel has always been very critical of UN institutions in general, and last week, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said at a protest in support of Israel in New York that Guterres, when going to the Rafah crossing, “sent a message of support to terrorists.”
Hamas’ attack on Israeli territory on October 7, which left more than 1,400 dead, mostly civilians, and 222 hostages, triggering a strong Israeli retaliation.
Today, the Israeli Army and Palestinian fighters are on the 17th day of the war, continuing the incessant air attacks by Israeli forces on the enclave and the launch of projectiles towards Israel by Palestinian militias.
In the Gaza Strip, more than 5,000 people have died, including more than 2,000 children, more than 1,100 women and 217 elderly people, according to local authorities.
At today’s press conference, the spokesperson acknowledged that the United Nations Agency for Palestinians (UNRWA, the largest aid organization active in Gaza) has not yet managed to introduce a single liter of fuel into the Strip.
UNRWA has repeatedly said that the fuel is needed to power the generators that keep hospitals in Gaza running, after the Israeli government cut off electricity supplies to the entire territory.
Meanwhile, at least 35 UNRWA workers have died due to Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip since October 7, when war broke out between the Islamist group Hamas and Israel, the organization itself said today in a statement.
Likewise, it indicated that 40 of its facilities – two of which in the last 24 hours – have been damaged since the start of the war.
UNRWA also stated that almost 600,000 internally displaced people are taking refuge in 150 of the agency’s facilities in the Gaza Strip.
Thus, in the last 24 hours the number of internally displaced people increased by 14,000, that is, 3.5%.
The UN General Assembly will meet on Thursday to discuss the war triggered by the Hamas attack on Israeli soil, the body’s leader announced today in a letter to Member States.
Although the Security Council was unable to agree on a resolution regarding this war, several countries, including Jordan on behalf of the Arab group, Russia, Syria, Bangladesh and even Vietnam and Cambodia, formally requested the Assembly Speaker Dennis Francis to schedule this meeting.
Before the Assembly meets on Thursday morning, the Security Council will meet on Tuesday to debate the issue. A long-planned meeting at which some foreign ministers are expected, including Israel’s Eli Cohen.
Read Also: Hamas urges UN and Arabs to press for opening of humanitarian corridor
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