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Gaza cease-fire resolution must be implemented without delay: UN chief

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published April 03,2024
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (AFP Photo)

UN chief Antonio Guterres reiterated his call Tuesday for the urgent implementation of a Security Council resolution for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

During his address at UN General Assembly's meeting on Human Security, Guterres said he thinks about 2 million Palestinians in Gaza "when I hear the words 'human security'".

Guterres also said he thinks about Israelis who are traumatized by Hamas attacks on Oct. 7.

"Nothing can ever justify those attacks. But nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza," he said.

Turning to Israeli airstrikes Monday that killed seven World Central Kitchen workers, Guterres said the conflict has killed 196 aid workers, including more than 175 UN staff members.

"This is unconscionable but it is an inevitable result of the way the war is being conducted," he said. "It demonstrates yet again the urgent need for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire, the unconditional release of all hostages, and the expansion of humanitarian aid into Gaza-as the Security Council demanded in its resolution last week."

"The resolution must be implemented without delay," he added.

The resolution voted March 25 compels Israel to commit to a cease-fire in Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Fourteen countries of the 15-member Council voted in favor of the resolution while the US abstained.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack led by the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, which killed less than 1,200 people.

More than 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, and over 75,000 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation. That has dramatically heightened the need for international assistance in the coastal enclave amid stringent Israeli restrictions on its entry.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which last week asked Tel Aviv to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.