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UN chief begs Israel, Hamas to end Gaza war



UN warns of global upsurge in domestic violence since COVID-19 lockdowns

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has appealed to Israeli and Hamas leaders currently taking part in intense negotiations to reach a ceasefire agreement.

Guterres made the call while speaking with journalists on Tuesday in New York.

He said: “For the sake of the people of Gaza, for the sake of the hostages and their families in Israel, and for the sake of the region and the wider world, to reach an agreement.

“I strongly encourage the Government of Israel and the Hamas leadership to reach an agreement.”

Guterres expressed fear that without an agreement, “the war, with all its consequences both in Gaza and across the region, would worsen exponentially.”

Nearly seven months have passed since the brutal Hamas-led attacks on Israel which sparked the current hostilities.

READ ALSO: Israelis demand Netanyahu’s resignation over Gaza war

Recent weeks have seen airstrikes on the Rafah area in southern Gaza, where more than 1.2 million people are now sheltering with limited access to food, medical care, and other services and with nowhere safe to go.

Guterres said a military assault there would be an unbearable escalation, killing thousands more civilians and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee.”

Fresh hostilities would have a devastating impact on Palestinians in Gaza, with serious repercussions in the occupied West Bank and across the wider region.

“All members of the Security Council, and many other governments, have clearly expressed their opposition to such an operation.

“I appeal for all those with influence over Israel to do everything in their power to prevent it,” the UN chief added.

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