NIn a statement to the press before a closed-door Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, Guterres addressed Israel’s orders for Palestinians in and around Gaza to move to the south of the territory.
“Moving more than a million people through a densely populated war zone to a place without food, water or shelter, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous and in some cases simply not possible,” he said.
“Hospitals in the south of Gaza are already full and will not be able to accept thousands of new patients coming from the north,” he stressed.
According to the UN leader, the situation in Gaza has reached a new moment of danger, with the health system on the verge of collapse, morgues full, 11 health professionals killed on duty, and at least 34 attacks on health facilities. health in recent days.
Furthermore, the entire territory is facing a water crisis, as infrastructure has been damaged and there is no electricity to power pumps and desalination plants, he noted.
In recent days, Guterres has been in constant contact with leaders across the region, focusing “on ways to reduce suffering and prevent a new dangerous escalation in the West Bank or elsewhere in the region, especially in southern Lebanon,” he said.
“We need immediate humanitarian access throughout Gaza, so that we can bring fuel, food and water to all those in need,” he appealed.
In this sense, the former Portuguese Prime Minister recalled that “even wars have rules”, meaning that international humanitarian law and human rights must be respected and defended, while civilians must be protected and “never used as shields”.
“All hostages in Gaza must be released immediately. It is imperative that all parties — and those who have influence over them — do everything possible to achieve these steps,” he added.
Finally, he addressed the “hate” that is being fueled by this conflict, not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world.
“Dehumanizing language that incites violence is never acceptable. I call on all leaders to speak out against anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and hate speech of all types,” the UN leader urged.
“This is the time for the international community to unite around the protection of civilians and find a lasting solution to this endless cycle of death and destruction,” he concluded, before entering the Security Council meeting.
Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007, launched a surprise attack on Israeli territory on October 7, which it called operation “Storm al-Aqsa”, with the launch of thousands of rockets and the incursion of fighters armed by land, sea and air.
In response, Israel bombed several Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip from the air, in an operation it dubbed “Iron Swords”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “at war” with Hamas, which, he recalled, was internationally classified as a terrorist organization.
Israeli authorities have so far confirmed more than 1,300 deaths and 3,000 injuries since the start of the Hamas offensive, supported by the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian branch of Islamic Jihad.
On the Palestinian side, the Ministry of Health confirmed today that, in Gaza, Israeli retaliatory attacks left at least 1,799 dead and more than 7,000 injured and that there were also 47 dead in the West Bank, as well as around 600 injured.
According to Israeli army spokesman Richard Hecht, around 1,000 Hamas fighters were also killed during clashes with security forces on Israeli territory.
[Notícia atualizada às 20h32]
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