Amid intensifying Israel-Gaza conflict, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meet took place in New York on Tuesday. The countries jointly echoed the immediate need for humanitarian aid in the crisis-hit city.
Speaking at the meet, UN chief Antonio Guterres asserted that no conflict is above international humanitarian law. Guterres also said he was "deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza.”
He also said that the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people.” “Our UN fuel supplies in Gaza will run out in a matter of days. That would be another disaster,” he added.
Guterres said "the 7 October attack by Hamas on Israel...did not happen in a vacuum”.
“The Palestinian people been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their lands steadily devolved by settlements and plagued by violence. Their economy stifled. Their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing," he said.
Taking offence to Guterres’s ‘Hamas attacks did not happen in a vaccum’ remarks, Israel ambassador to UN, Gilad Erdan, demanded UN chief to resign.
Erdan said: “There is no justification or point in talking to those who show understanding for the most terrible acts committed against the citizens of Israel — no less by a declared terrorist organisation.”
The @UN Secretary-General, who shows understanding for the campaign of mass murder of children, women, and the elderly, is not fit to lead the UN.— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) October 24, 2023
I call on him to resign immediately.
There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for the most…
While speaking at UNSC, US Secretary of state Antony Blinken called on all countries to send humanitarian aid to Gaza.
He also added that if Iran or its proxies attack us, make no mistake we will defend our people, we will defend our security swiftly and decisively.
"A civilian is a civilian...Hamas must cease using them as human shields...and Israel must take precautions. It means food, water, medicine, must be able to flow into Gaza and to the people who need it. Civilians must be able to get out of harm's way," said Blinken.
According to Palestinian health minister Mai al-Kaila, three hospitals in the Gaza Strip were out of action because they ran out of fuel.
Blinken also stressed on ramping up efforts to release around 200 hostages still held by Hamas. US is working with Egypt, Israel and UN to build mechanisms that will enable sustained humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, he said.
Blinken also urged member states to use influence, leverage to secure unconditional and immediate release of hostages.
According to Gaza Health Ministry, over 5,700 Palestinians were killed since the Hamas attack. Tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border also has intensified. So far Hamas has released, four hostages and efforts are on by countries to release more in the coming days.