U.N. Chief Calls for Massive Aid to Gaza, Condemns Starvation as Unacceptable

UN chief says it’s time to ‘truly flood’ Gaza with aid and calls starvation there an outrage

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the pressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza on Saturday, emphasizing the urgent need for increased aid delivery to the enclave. Standing near a queue of waiting trucks, Guterres described the situation as a “moral outrage” and called for a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Speaking from the Egyptian border close to Rafah, Guterres expressed concern over Israel’s plans for a ground assault in the region, warning of potential catastrophic consequences. He highlighted that over half of Gaza’s population has sought refuge in Rafah.

Guterres stressed the detrimental impact of further military action on Palestinian civilians and urged Israel to allow unhindered access to humanitarian aid in Gaza. He also called for the immediate release of hostages, emphasizing the need for compassion during Ramadan.

The failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on a resolution supporting a cease-fire was noted, indicating the challenges in reaching consensus on the matter.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres (Credits: Reuters)

The presence of thousands of aid trucks waiting in Egypt underscored the logistical hurdles in delivering essential supplies to Gaza. Guterres condemned the obstruction of relief efforts, attributing it primarily to Israel.

Concerns were raised about the deteriorating conditions in Gaza, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict. Hamas’ holding of hostages and the remains of individuals killed in previous attacks further complicated the situation.

In response to Guterres’ remarks, Israeli officials criticized the U.N. chief, accusing him of bias against Israel. Meanwhile, protests against the Israeli government erupted in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, reflecting domestic discontent over the handling of the crisis.

The escalating violence has taken a heavy toll on both sides, with thousands killed and significant destruction reported in Gaza. The targeting of civilian areas and infrastructure has raised international alarm, with calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Despite warnings from the U.S. against a ground assault on Rafah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed plans for the offensive, citing the need to dismantle Hamas’ stronghold in the area.

The dire situation in Gaza was further underscored by reports of civilian casualties, including women and children, and the destruction of residential buildings. The World Health Organization condemned the inhumane conditions faced by civilians trapped in conflict zones.

Efforts to deliver aid to northern Gaza, heavily impacted by the conflict, faced challenges due to access restrictions imposed by Israel. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reiterated the need for uninterrupted aid delivery to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in the region.

Amid escalating tensions and mounting casualties, the international community continues to call for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and intensified humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

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