UN chief says denial of Palestinian right to statehood ‘unacceptable’

TBL web desk

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres denounced Israel for the “heartbreaking” deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

At the opening of the G77+China summit in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, António Guterres said, “in Gaza, Israel’s military operations have spread massive destruction and killed civilians on a scale unprecedented during my time as Secretary General, including more than 150 members of our staff, following the horrific terror attacks by Hamas on 7 October.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

While reacting to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments about rejecting the Palestinian state, António Guterres said, “The repeated refusal yesterday to accept the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians is totally unacceptable, as I told the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. The denial of the right to statehood for the Palestinian people would indefinitely prolong a conflict that has become a major threat to global peace and security; exacerbate polarization; and embolden extremists everywhere.”

At least 62,681 people have been wounded in the Israeli assault on Gaza, according to Palestinian authorities. Some 85 percent of the territory’s population has been displaced, with thousands sheltering in UN-run camps in the southern part of the coastal enclave in squalid conditions. The UN has said there are “famine-like” conditions in Gaza as around one in four of the population of 2.3 million people face extreme hunger. Only a fraction of the aid needed has been delivered due to fighting and severe Israeli restrictions on shipments. Women and children are the biggest victims in the war, according to the UN.

“The Middle East is a tinderbox. We must do all we can to prevent conflict from igniting across the region. And that starts with an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to relieve the suffering in Gaza, allow humanitarian aid to reach everyone in need, and facilitate the release of hostages, which should be immediate and unconditional”, he said.