Friday, June 21, 2024

UN chief: Speed and scale of carnage in Gaza beyond any imagination

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has stated “the speed and scale of carnage and killing in Gaza is beyond anything" in his years as secretary-general.

Guterres stated in a statement to an emergency aid conference in Jordan that at least 1.7 million people – 75 percent of Gaza’s population – have been displaced many times over by Israeli military attacks.

“Nowhere is safe, conditions are deplorable, public health situation is beyond crisis level. Gaza’s hospitals lie in ruins, medical supplies and fuel are scarce or non-existent,” he said.

“More than one million Palestinians in Gaza do not have enough drinking water and face desperate levels of hunger. Over 50,000 children require treatment for acute malnutrition,” he added.

“The only way forward is through a political solution that opens a path to sustained peace based on two states – Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security … with Jerusalem as capital of both states”.

“Let us keep working to keep that a reality as we work to answer today’s call to action for Palestinians in Gaza in such a profound and immediate need,” Guterres stressed.

Describing conditions in Gaza as “deplorable”, the UN chief called for all parties to reach an agreement on the latest ceasefire plan.

“I welcome the peace initiative recently outlined by President [Joe] Biden and urge all parties to seize this opportunity and come to an agreement.”

Guterres also urged parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law.

“This includes facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid both into and inside Gaza as they have committed. All available routes into Gaza must be operational and the land routes are absolutely crucial,” he said.

He called for safe routes for humanitarian aid delivery and for the protection of UNRWA workers who “need unimpeded access”.

“Civilians must be allowed to seek safety and civilians and the infrastructure they rely on must never be militarised or targeted,” he added.

More than 37,100 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and nearly 84,700 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

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