United Nations Secretary-General Calls for Immediate Ceasefire, Relaunching Peace Talks
Senseless Cycle of Bloodshed, Destruction between Israel, Palestinians in Gaza Must Stop Now, Secretary-General Tells Security Council
As the Israeli-Palestinian hostilities in Gaza broke into its seventh day, the Security Council called unequivocally for an immediate end to the bloodshed, sounding alarm bells over the imminent potential for the violence to spill into the wider region.
In opening remarks, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres described the hostilities as “utterly appalling”. The incidents have caused killings, immense suffering, and damage to vital infrastructure. “Fighting must stop,” he stressed. The United Nations is actively engaging all sides towards an immediate ceasefire.
He also expressed deep concern over violent conflicts between Israeli security forces and Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, where Palestinian families are under threat of eviction. Leaders on all sides have a significant responsibility to curb inflammatory rhetoric and calm the rising tensions.
“The fighting has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis” and to foster extremism — not only in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel but in the whole region, he stressed.
Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to leave their homes in Gaza to shelter in schools, mosques, and other places with limited access to water, food, hygiene, or health services, he continued. Israeli civilians, meanwhile, live in fear of rockets launched from Gaza. “I am appalled by the attack on a refugee camp in Gaza, in which 10 members of one family were killed,” he said. Humanitarian installations must be protected, and journalists must be allowed to work free of fear and harassment.