UN chief calls on Israel and Hamas to “show political courage” and ceasefire

Глава ООН призвал Израиль и ХАМАС «проявить политическое мужество» и прекратить огонь

Residents of Rafah are looking for surviving items in the ruins of their home. UN chief calls on Israel and Hamas to “show political courage” and ceasefire Peace and Security

Amid reports that Israeli troops have seized key border crossings in Rafah, the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday repeated his call for Israel to end its escalation in Gaza.

In the far south of the sector, on the border with Egypt, the city of Rafah is hosting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians expelled from other areas of the enclave due to the ongoing Israeli military operation. There are serious concerns that humanitarian aid supplies will quickly run out throughout the war-torn sector, with fuel supplies running low by the end of the day.

“The closure of the Rafah and Karem Shalom crossings is causing significant harm to an already dire humanitarian situation,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a press event at UN headquarters in New York. “They must be opened immediately.” Hamas October 7, after the death of more than 34 thousand Palestinians in Gaza, isn’t what we saw enough?»

Call for diplomacy

António Guterres stressed the urgent need for an agreement between the Israeli government and the Hamas leadership to end the “unbearable suffering” of both Palestinians in Gaza and Israeli hostages and their families.

I once again call on both sides to show political courage and spare no effort to reach an agreement

“If weeks of intense diplomatic efforts to bring peace to Gaza fail will lead to a ceasefire, this will mean a tragedy: the hostages will not be released, a destructive offensive on Rafah will begin, the UN Secretary General said. “I once again call on both sides to show political courage and spare no effort to reach an agreement.”

Vital checkpoints are closed

Amid uncertainty over the possibility of a ceasefire in Gaza and an escalation of military operations in Rafah, UN humanitarian organizations expressed deep concern on Tuesday that two main humanitarian access points into the enclave remain closed.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned Israeli authorities that a mass evacuation of people from Rafah cannot be carried out safely. individuals, as well as three clinics and six warehouses, the OCHA said in a statement. “Any escalation of hostilities resulting from a full-scale invasion of Rafah will put the residents and displaced persons currently living there on the brink of death.”

Press OCHA Secretary Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva that Israeli authorities had not given permission to access the Rafah crossing.

“We currently do not have any physical presence at Rafah checkpoint because we were denied access to the area,” he said. “Thus, the two main arteries for delivering aid to Gaza are now closed.”

Laerke warned that existing food supplies in Gaza would last no more than one day. He also noted that Rafah is the only delivery point to the sector for fuel, without which generators, trucks and communications cannot operate.

“If fuel does not arrive for a long time period of time, the humanitarian operation will cease,” the OCHA press secretary emphasized. 

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