War in Gaza is an Open Wound

UN Secretary-General António Guterres repeated his longstanding call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages held in the enclave, and unimpeded access for aid delivery, in remarks to the Summit of the League of Arab States in Bahrain on Thursday.

“The war in Gaza is an open wound that threatens to infect the entire region,” he said.

“In its speed and scale, it is the deadliest conflict in my time as Secretary-General – for civilians, aid workers, journalists, and our own UN colleagues.”

He stressed that nothing can justify the abhorrent 7 October terror attacks by Hamas against Israel, or the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

The Secretary-General warned against an assault on Rafah, which would be “unacceptable” as “it would inflict another surge of pain and misery when we need a surge in life-saving aid.”

He also voiced concern over the tensions in the occupied West Bank, highlighting the spike in illegal Israeli settlements, settler violence and excessive use of force by the Israeli Defense Forces, as well as demolitions and evictions.

The Secretary-General told Arab leaders that the only permanent way to end the cycle of violence and instability between Israelis and Palestinians is through a two-State solution.

“The demographic and historical character of Jerusalem must be preserved.”

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