Saturday, April 20, 2024

“I will not give up,” at Rafah border to Gaza, UN’s Guterres calls for immediate ceasefire

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, declared that it is time for a ceasefire and an “ironclad commitment by Israel” to allow unhindered aid deliveries into the besieged enclave.

Guterres began his annual Ramadan solidarity trip on Saturday with planned visits to Egypt and Jordan. 

“It is monstrous that after so much suffering over so many months, Palestinians in Gaza are marking Ramadan with Israeli bombs still falling, bullets still flying artillery still pounding and humanitarian assistance still facing obstacle upon obstacle,” he said.

“Fasting with you on Ramadan, I am deeply troubled to know so many people in Gaza will not be able to have a proper iftar.”

The UN chief met with Palestinian civilians from Gaza and their families at the General Hospital in El Arish, Egypt, speaking with women and children who had been injured during the ongoing conflict.

Palestinians in Gaza – children, women, men – remain stuck in a non-stop nightmare, he said, with communities obliterated, homes demolished, entire families and generations wiped out and hunger and starvation stalking the population.

He also urged all UN Member States to support the “lifesaving work led by the backbone of all Gaza relief operations, UNRWA”, the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees.

Pledging to continue working with Egypt to streamline the flow of aid, he had a message for Palestinians in Gaza: “you are not alone.”

In a symbolic gesture of solidarity, Mr. Guterres will partake in a Ramadan iftar with refugees from Sudan, who have fled their homeland due to ongoing hostilities there.

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