‘Clear violations of humanitarian law’ by Israel in Gaza, says UN Sec Gen

By Nadine Osman

London, (The Muslim News): United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says there have been “clear violations” of humanitarian law in Gaza and called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”.

He made the comments on Tuesday before a Security Council that remained divided on the 18th day of the war between Israel and Hamas.

More than 700 Palestinians were killed in overnight Israeli air strikes, Gaza’s health ministry said, the highest 24-hour death toll since Israel began a bombing campaign to crush Hamas militants who stunned the country with a deadly October. 7 attack.

Guterres told the Security Council that it was vital to be clear that war has rules, starting with the fundamental principle of respecting and protecting civilians.

“It is important to also recognise the attack by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of occupation. their people displaced & their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution. have been vanishing” Guterres said.

“But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Without naming Hamas, the UN chief stressed that “protecting civilians can never mean using them as human shields.”

Guterres also criticized Israel without naming it, saying “protecting civilians does not mean ordering more than one million people to evacuate to the south, where there is no shelter, no food, no water, no medicine and no fuel, and then continuing to bomb the south itself.”

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan described Guterres’ speech as “shocking.” In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he called on Guterres to immediately resign, while Israel’s visiting Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that he would no longer meet with Guterres later on Tuesday as planned.

“I will not meet with the U.N. secretary-general. After Oct. 7 there is no room for a balanced approach. Hamas must be erased from the world!” Cohen wrote.

[Palestine: A child and father injured in Israeli bombing in Nasser Hospital Khan Yunis, south Gaza on 24 10 23 Photojournalist Mustafa Hassona/ AA]

The post ‘Clear violations of humanitarian law’ by Israel in Gaza, says UN Sec Gen appeared first on The Muslim News.

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