UN Chief Visits Rafah Crossing, Renews Call For Ceasefire In Gaza

UN Chief Visits Rafah Crossing, Renews Call For Ceasefire In Gaza

CAIRO, Mac 24 (NNN-MENA) – United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, yesterday, visited the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, reiterating his call for an immediate ceasefire in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

“Now more than ever, it’s time for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It is time to silence the guns,” the UN chief told a press conference at the border crossing.

Israel’s ongoing massive strikes in Gaza have so far killed 32,142 Palestinians and injured 74,412 others, the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry updated in a statement yesterday.

“Nothing justifies the attack by Hamas on Oct 7, and nothing justifies the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” Guterres told reporters.

Since late Oct last year, the Rafah crossing has served as a major lifeline for the delivery of humanitarian aid, donated by Egypt and other countries, as well as, local and international organisations to Gaza amid the conflict.

“Palestinians in Gaza – children, women and men – remain stuck in a nonstop nightmare. Communities (were) obliterated, homes demolished, and entire families and generations wiped out, with hunger and starvation stalking the population,” Guterres said.

He noted that the UN will continue working with Egypt, to ensure the flow of aid into Gaza, appreciating “the full Egyptian engagement in support of the Gaza people.”

Guterres regretted that the current Israeli siege of Gaza continued during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “I am deeply troubled to know that so many people in Gaza will not be able to have a proper Iftar (fast-breaking meal),” the UN chief said.

“I want Palestinians in Gaza to know: You are not alone. People around the world are outraged by the horrors we are all witnessing in real time,” he added.

The visit of the UN chief to the Rafah crossing comes, while Israel has been announcing plans to launch a large-scale ground operation in Gaza’s Rafah city, where about 1.5 million internally displaced Palestinians reside, a move widely rejected by the international community.

After Cairo, the UN secretary-general is scheduled to head to Amman, Jordan, and visit the facilities of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, according to the international organisation.– NNN-MENA  


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