Source The United Nations
“Press Encounter with António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, on the situation in the Middle East.”
Media www.rajawalisiber.com – Secretary-General António Guterres said that the situation in Gaza has reached “a dangerous new low,” adding that “moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible.”
Guterres spoke to reporters today (13 Oct) in New York before a Security Council closed consultation on the Middle East.
The UN chief said, “Hospitals in the south of Gaza are already at capacity and will not be able to accept thousands of new patients from the north. The health system is on the brink of collapse. Morgues are overflowing; eleven healthcare staff have been killed while on duty; and there have been 34 attacks on health facilities in the past few days.”
Guterres added, “The entire territory faces a water crisis as infrastructure has been damaged and there is no electricity to power pumps and desalination plants.”
The United Nations staff and its partners are working around the clock to support the people of Gaza, the Secretary-General said, adding that the UN mourns for the colleagues who have been killed – a number that is increasing by the day.
Guterres said that he has been in constant contact with leaders across the region, focusing on ways to reduce suffering and prevent further dangerous escalation in the West Bank or elsewhere in the region, especially in southern Lebanon.
He said, “The exchanges of fire across the Blue Line are very worrying. They must stop.”
The UN chief reiterated, “We need immediate humanitarian access throughout Gaza, so that we can get fuel, food and water to everyone in need.”
“Even wars have rules,” Guterres highlighted, adding that “international humanitarian law and human rights law must be respected and upheld; civilians must be protected and never used as shields.”
The Secretary-General called for immediate release of all hostages in Gaza, reiterating that “it is imperative that all parties – and those with influence over them – do everything possible to achieve these steps.”
Guterres also highlighted the hatred that is being stoked by this terrible conflict – across the Middle East and around the world.
He said, “Dehumanizing language that incites violence is never acceptable.”
The UN chief called on all leaders to “speak out against Antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and hate speech of all kinds.”
Guterres concluded, “This is a time for the international community to come together around protecting civilians and finding a lasting solution to this unending cycle of death and destruction.”