UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has issued a heartfelt plea for immediate international action to address the devastating crisis in Gaza and support a critical humanitarian appeal. The UN family is in mourning as 89 staff members from the UN agency aiding Palestine refugees (UNRWA) lost their lives during the turmoil in the region.
Guterres emphasised the gravity of the situation, stating, “The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity.” This powerful declaration underscores the urgent need for global attention and intervention.
Among the victims were courageous individuals from various professional backgrounds, including teachers, school principals, doctors, engineers, guards, and support staff. Guterres shared a poignant story of a young woman named Mai, who defied the odds posed by muscular dystrophy and a wheelchair to become a top student and work in information technology for UNRWA.
The UN Secretary-General called for swift international action to find a way out of the ongoing destruction, emphasising the need for lasting peace and a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. The appeal for intervention underscores the severity of the crisis and the impact it has on the people in the region.
Guterres expressed grave concern over the escalating violence and expansion of the conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas militants. He highlighted the precarious situation in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which he described as being “at a boiling point.” These remarks underline the urgency of addressing the growing turmoil.
The UN chief called for a humanitarian ceasefire to be established urgently, emphasizing the paramount importance of protecting civilians. He stated, “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed or injured every day. More journalists have reportedly been killed over a four-week period than in any conflict in at least three decades. More United Nations aid workers have been killed than in any comparable period in the history of our organization.”
In addition to the need for a ceasefire, Guterres urged support for a $1.2 billion humanitarian appeal to assist nearly three million people across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. He emphasised the dire need for humanitarian aid and the challenges of getting sufficient supplies into Gaza.
The UN Secretary-General outlined the severity of the situation, particularly concerning access to essential resources. He pointed out the critical issue of fuel shortages, which could result in life-threatening consequences for newborns in incubators and patients on life support. Water supply and sanitation also face severe threats if fuel shortages persist.
Guterres’ call for international action was crystal clear: “Unfettered access to deliver supplies to all people in need in Gaza. Now. And the end of the use of civilians as human shields. Now.” His appeals encompassed the immediate need for food, water, medicine, and fuel to enter Gaza to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
In conclusion, Antonio Guterres’ heartfelt call for immediate international intervention underscores the urgency of the situation in Gaza and the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His words emphasize the critical need for a humanitarian ceasefire, support for the humanitarian appeal, and the protection of civilians in the region. The world watches with hope for a swift and lasting resolution to this crisis.