UN Chief Deeply Distressed by Israel’s Complete Siege of Gaza

Palestinians in the poor coastal region prepared for what many believed would be a large Israeli ground assault intended to overthrow Hamas and free hostages.

UN: Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, denounced the Hamas attack on Israel on Monday but expressed his “deep distress” over the country’s subsequent imposing a complete closure on the Gaza Strip.
Before these confrontations, the humanitarian situation in Gaza was extremely bad, Guterres told the media. “Now it will only deteriorate exponentially.”

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had earlier in the day stated that his nation would impose a “complete siege” on the long-blocked enclave, emphasizing what this meant for its 2.3 million residents: “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed.”

Palestinians in the poor coastal region prepared for what many believed would be a large Israeli ground assault intended to overthrow Hamas and free hostages.

Insisting that “this most recent violence does not come in a vacuum,” Guterres said. “The reality is that it grows out of a long-standing conflict, with a 56-year-long occupation and no political end in sight.”

While acknowledging Israel’s legitimate security concerns, Guterres added, “I also want to warn Israel that military operations must strictly adhere to international humanitarian law.

Following the unprecedented ground, air, and sea assaults by the Islamist organization, Israel has recorded over 700 fatalities and conducted a merciless barrage of strikes on Gaza, bringing the death toll there to 560.

Guterres began by voicing “utter condemnation of the abhorrent attacks by Hamas and others against Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery.”

“I recognize the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people,” stated Guterres. “But nothing can justify these acts of terror and the killing, maiming, and abduction of civilians.”

Israel, which has long prided itself on a high-tech military and intelligence edge in its many conflicts, has been shaken to the core by Hamas’ surprise attack.

The militant group surged into Israeli towns on Saturday, storming military bases, spraying gunfire at civilians, and dragging off about 100 hostages.

Since then, the violence has only intensified, leading Israel to vow to shut off supplies to the area on Monday.

“I am deeply distressed by today’s announcement that Israel will initiate a complete siege of the Gaza Strip, nothing allowed in — no electricity, food, or fuel,” said Guterres.

According to Guterres, the UN will keep working to meet Gaza’s needs through aid.

“Israel must see its legitimate needs for security materialized — and Palestinians must see a clear perspective for the establishment of their own state realized,” Guterres stated.

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