.
.
.
.

UN’s secretary general says shocked by ‘unacceptable’ Israeli ‘bombardment’ on Gaza

Published: Updated:

Continued crossfire between Israeli forces and militant groups including Hamas are “unacceptable,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN General Assembly Thursday, saying “the fighting must stop immediately.”

“I am deeply shocked by the continued air and artillery bombardment by the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza,” Guterres said of the salvos that have killed more than 200 Palestinians including 60 children.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza.”

The General Assembly meeting was requested by Niger and Algeria, respectively the current chairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab Group at the United Nations.

“It is imperative that we achieve de-escalation, to prevent an uncontainable cross border security and humanitarian crisis,” Guterres said, calling for the “resumption of negotiations” pursuing “a two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 lines.”
On Wednesday, the 10th day of deadly violence between Israel and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza, a spokesperson for the Secretary-General said Guterres had had contact with Palestinians and officials in the Middle East, but not yet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Denouncing Israeli airstrike damage to “several hospitals,” the UN chief also called the levelling of media offices as well as the killing of a journalist in Gaza “extremely concerning.”

“I am deeply distressed by damage to United Nations facilities in Gaza,” he said. “United Nations premises are inviolable, including during armed conflict. Humanitarian installations must be respected and protected.”

He said an appeal for humanitarian aid donations would launch “as soon as possible,” specifying that the UN would release $14 million from the Humanitarian Fund for the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“There is no justification, including counterterrorism or self-defense, for the abdication by the parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law,” Guterres said.

“I am also deeply concerned by the continuation of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, where several Palestinian families are under the threat of eviction.”

A years-long bid by Israeli settlers to illegally take over Palestinian homes is among the origins of the escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas that began May 10.

Israeli border policemen speak to a Jewish settler resident near the entrance to his home during clashes amid ongoing tension ahead of an upcoming court hearing in an Israeli-Palestinian land-ownership dispute in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem May 3, 2021. (Reuters)
Israeli border policemen speak to a Jewish settler resident near the entrance to his home during clashes amid ongoing tension ahead of an upcoming court hearing in an Israeli-Palestinian land-ownership dispute in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem May 3, 2021. (Reuters)

Read more:

WHO issues urgent appeal for $7 mln to fund Gaza, West Bank

Israel launches new raids on several neighborhoods in Gaza

Ceasefire with Israel is ‘imminent,’ say Hamas officials amid rising Gaza death toll