UN Chief to Security Council: World must not look away from humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza

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The UN Security Council held intensive meetings in New York today on the Middle East crisis, including the Palestinian issue. The UN Security Council succeeded in finding unity, adopting resolution 2712, calling for 'urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors' in Gaza for 'a sufficient number of days' to allow full, rapid, safe, and unhindered access for UN agencies and partners. Speaking to the UNSC, Secretary-General António Guterres said that more than two-thirds of those killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza so far have been children and women. In a matter of weeks, a far greater number of children have been killed by Israel than in any year, by any party to a conflict, since he has been Secretary-General, the UN chief said. He also urged not to look away from the 'epic humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.' 'The people of Gaza are in the midst of an epic humanitarian catastrophe before the eyes of the world,' he said. 'We must not look away.' He said the level of aid remains completely in adequate to meet the huge needs of more than two million people in the Strip. 'much, much more is required to begin to address human needs in Gaza.' That includes full restoration of water and electricity services and urgently addressing the collapse of food systems and deteriorating public health, he added. The Rafah border crossing does not have enough capacity, especially taking into account the slow pace of procedures, to meet these and other needs, he said, urging the opening of other crossings, including Kerem Shalom, and the streamlining of inspection mechanisms to allow for the necessary increase of lifesaving aid. But, humanitarian aid alone will not be sufficient, he said, adding that the private sector is needed to bring in critical basic commodities to replenish completely depleted shops. "Success will be measured in lives that are saved, suffering that is ended, and hope and dignity that is restored", he said. He welcomed the ongoing intense negotiations to prolong the truce: 'We believe we need a true humanitarian ceasefire, and we must ensure the people of the region finally have a horizon of hope by moving in a determined and irreversible way toward establishing a Two-State solution, on the basis of United Nations resolutions and international law, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security, he said. 'Failure will condemn Palestinians, Israelis, the region, and the world to a never-ending cycle of death and destruction.' Source: Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA