Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

UN Chief Calls on Israel to Stop Escalation, Engage Constructively in Ongoing Diplomatic Talks

Wed 08 May 2024 | 11:33 AM
Ahmed Emam

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday reiterated his call for Israel and Hamas to show "political courage" and work towards securing a ceasefire as tensions continue to escalate in Gaza. 

Speaking at UN headquarters in New York, Guterres highlighted the critical situation in the Gaza Strip, particularly in Rafah, which borders Egypt and is currently overwhelmed with displaced Palestinians.

 Guterres expressed concern about the humanitarian situation, noting that essential aid and fuel supplies are almost depleted. He stated that the closure of both the Rafah and Karem Shalom crossings is severely damaging to an already dire humanitarian situation, and they must be re-opened immediately.

The recent conflicts have resulted in over 1,100 Israelis and 34,000 Palestinians reported killed, and Guterres emphasized the staggering cost of the ongoing violence. He implored both sides to engage in diplomacy rather than further escalation, asking "Haven't we seen enough?" 

The UN chief underscored the severe consequences of continued fighting, particularly any potential full-scale assault on Rafah, which he described as a looming "human catastrophe." He warned that countless more civilian casualties and families would be forced to flee yet again, with nowhere safe to go.

Guterres's remarks reflect deep concern about the impact of the conflict not only on Gaza but also on the broader Middle East. 

He said, "Even the best friends of Israel are clear: An assault on Rafah would be a strategic mistake, a political calamity, and a humanitarian nightmare," calling on those with influence over Israel to help avert further tragedy.