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UN secretary-general says ‘wholesale destruction’ of Gaza unprecedented

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Guterres says denial of statehood to Palestinians would indefinitely prolong conflict that threatens global peace, security.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday said the destruction of Gaza is unprecedented, and the right of the Palestinian people to statehood must be recognized by everyone.

Addressing the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Kampala, Guterres said the refusal to accept the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians and the denial of the right to statehood for the Palestinian people are unacceptable. “This would indefinitely prolong a conflict that has become a major threat to global peace and security; exacerbate polarization and embolden extremists everywhere,” he said.

“This summit falls at another moment of deep division, human rights, international law, the Geneva Conventions, and the UN Charter are being flouted with impunity. I will not relent in my call for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and an immediate unconditional release of all hostages,” he added.

“The wholesale destruction of Gaza and the number of civilian casualties in such a short period are totally unprecedented during my mandate,” the secretary-general said, noting that the UN has also been affected as 152 staff have been killed.

Israel’s military campaign in Gaza since the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion has killed nearly 25,000 people besides causing mass displacement, destruction and shortage of food, water and medicine.

Guterres said the people in Gaza are dying, not only from bombs and bullets but from lack of food and clean water, and hospitals without power and medicine.

“Although humanitarians are doing their best to deliver aid, they face constant bombardments and daily dangers, amid enormous constraints posed by damaged roads, communication blackouts and access denials,” he said.

“We see clear convergence between the principles of the UN Charter and the Bandung principles of the Non-Aligned Movement. And you have an important role at the United Nations.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he opposes a Palestinian state in any post-war scenario.

Source: Yeni Safak

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