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UN chief demands full humanitarian ceasefire in Israel, Hamas conflict

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The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Monday called for a full humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant group, Hamas.

Guterres made the call in a statement issued by his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric in New York.

He said: “We have seen the release of Israeli and foreign hostages held by Hamas and others since October 7, and the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.”

Guterres commended the Qatar, Egypt, and the United States governments for facilitating the arrangement that led to the release of the hostages and recognised the critical role of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Israeli government on Sunday released 39 Palestinian prisoners in the Jewish state.

This followed the release of 17 hostages by Hamas in a deal brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US.

READ ALSO: Hamas releases third round of Israeli hostages, seeks extension of truce

The UN chief stressed that the body would continue to support efforts at ending the eight-week-old hostilities in the Middle East.

“During these four days, the United Nations has scaled up the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and sent aid to some northern areas that have been largely cut off for weeks.

“But this aid barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people. The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day. It

“The dialogue that led to the agreement must continue, resulting in a full humanitarian ceasefire, for the benefit of the people of Gaza, Israel, and the wider region,” he added.

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