This current intensifying conflict is shaking the world, rattling the region and, most tragically, destroying so many innocent lives. 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. He also noted that the United Nations’ aid workers have been killed more than in any comparable period in the history of UN. He saluted all those who continue their life-saving work despite the overwhelming challenges and risks. Therefore, the protection of civilians must be paramount. I am deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing, reiterating that “no party to an armed conflict is above international humanitarian law.” UN Chief emphasized, “the unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent in every passing hour. The parties to the conflict — and, indeed, the international community — face an immediate and fundamental responsibility: to stop this inhuman collective suffering and dramatically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza.”
The Secretary-General also highlighted, “he is deeply troubled by the rise in antisemitism and anti-Muslim bigotry.” He said, “Jewish and Muslim communities in many parts of the world are on high alert, fearing for their personal safety and security. Emotions are at fever pitch. Tensions are running high. The images of suffering are heart breaking and soul crushing. We must find a way to hold on to our common humanity.”
Today, the UN and its partners launch $1.2 billion humanitarian appeal to help 2.7 million people – that’s the entire population of Gaza Strip and half a million Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Some life-saving aid is getting into Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing. But the trickle of assistance does not meet the ocean of need. UN chief then explained: “The Rafah crossing alone does not have the capacity to process aid trucks at the scale required,” adding that “just over 400 trucks have crossed into Gaza over the past two weeks – compared with 500 a day before the conflict.” This does not include fuel. Without fuel, newborn babies in incubators and patients on life support will die. Water cannot be pumped or purified. Raw sewage could soon start gushing onto the streets, further spreading disease. Trucks loaded with critical relief will be stranded.” He also reminds the “gravely” concern about rising violence with the situation turns crucial.
The UN chief repeated his call for the immediate, unconditional, and safe release of hostages held in Gaza. “Nothing can justify the deliberate torture, killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians”. The occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, “is at a boiling point,”. “Let us also not forget the importance of addressing the risks of the conflict spilling over to the wider region. Now, we are witnessing a spiral of escalation from Lebanon and Syria to Iraq and Yemen. That escalation must stop. Cool heads and diplomatic efforts must prevail. Hateful rhetoric and provocative actions must cease.”