UN Secretary-General Appeals to Israel and Hamas

During a recent press briefing at the UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urgently appealed to both Israel and Hamas to agree on a ceasefire and hostage release to end the ongoing suffering in Gaza and the distress of hostages and their families. Guterres emphasized the critical need for immediate action to prevent further escalation and potential tragedy in Rafah. 

Highlighting the dire situation, Guterres expressed his concern over the stalled peace efforts and the potential consequences of failing to reach a ceasefire. He remarked on the tragedy of not achieving peace after weeks of intense diplomatic efforts, which could lead to no ceasefire, continued hostage captivity, and a possible devastating offensive in Rafah.

The Secretary-General called for the immediate reopening of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, stressing the importance of both parties sparing no effort to secure an agreement promptly to halt the violence.

This call to action comes in the wake of Hamas accepting a ceasefire proposal on Monday evening, although Israel has stated that the proposal does not meet its conditions and has indicated that military operations in Rafah will continue. The UN chief expressed his disturbance and distress over the renewal of military actions in Rafah, urging both sides to come together and agree to terms that would end the bloodshed.

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