Something “clearly wrong” with Israel’s Gaza military operation: UN chief

The number of civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip during the past month of war between Israel and Hamas means something is "clearly wrong" with Israel's military operation, the United Nations secretary general has cautioned.

“Nothing should reduce our total rejection for the horrible things that Hamas did” in its October 7 attacks that killed about 1,400 people, Secretary-General António Guterres said in an interview with Reuters.

“But we need to distinguish: Hamas is one thing, the Palestinian people (are) another.”

“There are violations by Hamas when they have human shields,” he continued, adding, “But when one looks at the number of civilians that were killed with the military operations, there is something that is clearly wrong.”

Israel’s operations must be conducted with full respect to the laws of war, Guterres stressed, while allowing for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

“Every year the highest number of killing of children by any of the actors in all the conflicts that we witness is the maximum in the hundreds,” Guterres said, adding, “We have in a few days in Gaza seen thousands of children killed.”

“To a certain extent, the sympathy that is generated in the world is being put into question by the images that every day we have in which we see people in a dramatic humanitarian situation,” he stated, also calling for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas.

About three-quarters of the 10,515 people killed in Gaza since the conflict began are children, women and the elderly, according to a report Wednesday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

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