Brazil calls for humanitarian corridor for Gaza residents

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The President of Brazil, which holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, has appealed to his Israeli counterpart for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor to enable people in the Gaza Strip to flee to Egypt, he said Thursday.

The comments by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva add Brazil to the voices of European foreign ministers and the World Health Organization that have called for the establishment of a route to either allow people to flee the Palestinian enclave or let humanitarian aid flow in.

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“I recently spoke on the phone with the President of Israel Isaac Herzog,” Lula said on X, formerly Twitter. “I conveyed my call for a humanitarian corridor so that people who want to leave the Gaza Strip through Egypt can be safe.”

On Saturday, Hamas gunmen swept into small towns, kibbutzim and a music festival in Israel, indiscriminately killing more than 1,200 people and taking about 150 hostages.

Israel has retaliated by raining air and artillery strikes on Gaza -- a densely populated enclave of 2.3 million people -- flattening buildings and killing more than 1,400 people, many of them civilians.

Israel has prepared for a possible ground invasion of the Palestinian territory.

Brazil has called a meeting of the Security Council on Friday to discuss the conflict.

Fellow South American leader Nicolas Maduro, of Venezuela, called on Thursday for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, after condemning what he said was a “massive violation of human rights” in Gaza.

“From Venezuela, we ratify our vocation of solidarity with the people of Palestine,” Maduro said.

Lula, in his tweet, said he “reaffirmed Brazil’s condemnation of the terrorist attacks and our solidarity with the families of the victims.”

“I asked the President for all possible initiatives to ensure that there is no shortage of water, electricity and medicines in hospitals,” he added.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel has hit Gaza with air strikes that have knocked out much of its water infrastructure, and has stopped supplying water to the enclave since Sunday.

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More than 423,000 people displaced in Gaza: UN

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