UN Chief Guterres: Urgency of Gaza Ceasefire Increases Hour by Hour

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a televised address that the ceasefire was becoming “faster with every passing hour” as Israeli forces bombed the Hamas-held Gaza Strip after encircling it. the largest city in the region on Sunday. Hamas forces fired 16 rockets from Lebanon towards northern Israel, as announced by the armed wing of the Palestinian group, saying they targeted areas south of the coastal city of Haifa.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the protection of civilians “must be paramount” in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, warning that the Gaza Strip is becoming a “graveyard for children”. “The impending disaster makes the need for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire around the clock,” he told reporters at the United Nations headquarters, citing violations of international humanitarian law.

Israel hit the Gaza Strip with “significant” airstrikes, a day after its forces reached the southern coast of Gaza City, besieging two areas. Israeli forces “surrounded Gaza City”, military spokesman Daniel Hagari said, adding: “Now there is southern Gaza and northern Gaza.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded an arduous diplomatic tour of the Middle East in Turkey on Monday, achieving only modest progress in endeavors to establish a regional agreement on the most effective approach to alleviate civilian hardship in Gaza. Blinken’s trip to Turkey came after a busy weekend of travel spanning from Israel to Jordan, the occupied West Bank, Cyprus, and Iraq, aiming to garner backing for the Biden administration’s initiative for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to at least 10,022 people, including at least 4,104 children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory.

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