UN Secretary-General António Guterres again called on Monday for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, warning that incessant Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip was turning that Palestinian territory into a "cemetery of children".
"The unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with each passing hour," he told reporters at United Nations headquarters in New York.
«Gaza is becoming a children's cemetery. “Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly killed or injured every day,” she noted.
"The parties to the conflict and the international community face an immediate and fundamental responsibility: to stop this inhuman collective suffering and radically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza," Guterres said.
«The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. "It is a crisis of humanity," he stressed.
The conflict broke out with intensity after militants from the Islamist group Hamas killed around 1,400 people in Israeli territory on October 7, mostly civilians, including young people who were participating in an electronic music festival.
Israel then launched a series of incessant bombings and ground incursions into the Gaza Strip in retaliation. According to the Ministry of Health of the Hamas-ruled territory, 10,022 people have died, including more than 4,000 children.
The UN chief denounced that "more journalists have died in a four-week period than in any other conflict in the last three decades." The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday counted at least 36 journalists and media employees (31 Palestinians, 4 Israelis, 1 Lebanese) killed since October 7.
And “more UN humanitarian workers have been killed than in any comparable period in the history of our organization,” lamented the secretary-general, paying tribute to the 89 dead members of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). .
– «An immense pressure» –
Guterres was formally launching an appeal to deploy a $1.2 billion U.N. humanitarian aid package to serve 2.7 million Palestinians living across the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Aid trucks have arrived in Gaza from Egypt via the Rafah crossing, but the level remains far below what it was before October 7. Israel claims that it needs time to carry out security checks on the vehicles and verify that they do not have fuel.
"Without fuel, newborns in incubators and patients on life support will die," Guterres said.
The Security Council, which for a month has rejected four draft resolutions for lack of unanimity, met again on Monday afternoon without results.
According to diplomatic sources, members of the Security Council are very divided on whether to request an interruption of the war, whether it is a "humanitarian ceasefire", "truce" or "pause".
"There are disagreements in the Council about what is acceptable," commented the US deputy ambassador, Robert Wood, who recalled that the United States is in favor of "pauses."
While “all Council members” recognize the “humanitarian emergency,” “gaps still remain on what is feasible on the ground,” added UAE Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh.
The Council "feels immense pressure to reach an agreement," he added.