UN is ‘deeply distressed’ by Israeli siege of Gaza: UN chief

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned the Hamas attack against Israel but said he was “deeply distressed” by the country’s subsequent imposition of a total siege on the Gaza Strip.

“The humanitarian situation in Gaza was extremely dire before these hostilities,” Guterres told reporters. “Now it will only deteriorate exponentially.”

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

Earlier in the day, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said his country would impose a “complete siege” on the long blockaded enclave and stressed what this meant for its 2.3 million people: “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas -- it’s all closed.”

Palestinians in the impoverished coastal territory braced for what many feared will be a massive Israeli ground attack aiming to defeat Hamas and liberate hostages.

“This most recent violence does not come in a vacuum,” Guterres stressed. “The reality is that it grows out of a long-standing conflict, with a 56-year long occupation and no political end in sight.”

“While I recognize Israel’s legitimate security concerns, I also remind Israel that military operations must be conducted in strict accordance with international humanitarian law,” Guterres said.

Following the militia group’s unprecedented ground, air and sea attacks, Israel has counted over 700 dead and launched a withering barrage of strikes on Gaza that have raised the death toll there to 560 people.

Guterres began his speech by expressing “utter condemnation of the abhorrent attacks by Hamas and others against Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery.”

“I recognize the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people,” Guterres said. “But nothing can justify these acts of terror and the killing, maiming and abduction of civilians.”

Read more:

Iran urges Lebanon’s Hezbollah to prepare for conflict with Israel: Report

Spain ‘disagrees’ with EU move to suspend Palestinian aid payments

Israeli FM says more than 100 people taken captive by Hamas

Top Content Trending