“The people of Gaza stare into the abyss”The UN Secretary General said today, Antonio Guterresto the Security Council, in an exceptional session in which he asked it to act to stop the war in Gaza, which has already left 17,000 Palestinians dead, in addition to 1,200 Israelis.
“The eyes of the world, and of History, are watching (towards the Council). It is time to act“Guterres insisted, when it is not even clear that a new resolution can be voted on today to request a ceasefire in the face of reluctance mainly from the United States, with the right to veto.
“International humanitarian law cannot be applied selectively,” said Guterres. “It is binding on all parties equally and at all times and the obligation to respect it does not depend on reciprocity,” he recalled in this session requested by him, invoking in an extraordinary way he article 99 of the UN charterwhich allows the secretary general to address the council in the event of a serious security threat.
The “violations of the law of war” that Hamas committed “does not absolve Israel of its own violations,” he insisted.
The situation in Gaza “may result in a complete collapse of public orderas pressure grows for a mass movement towards Egypt, (but) I fear that the consequences could be devastating for the entire region,” Guterres warned.
Guterres recalled that 60% of homes are destroyed or damagedwhich has forced the displacement of 85% of the population: “The people of Gaza are ordered to move as if they were flasks, bouncing from place to place, smaller and smaller, without any of the basic needs to survive.”
He remembered again the scale of destruction in Gaza: 339 school facilities, 26 hospitals, 56 health centers, 88 mosques and three churches destroyed after “attacks by land, sea and air,” Guterres recalled.
After Guterres, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN took the floor, Riyad Mansourwho thanked the secretary general for his words and his attitude at a time when his person is attacked almost daily by Israel, which asks again and again for his resignation.
The Secretary General – said Mansour – “is respecting his sacred mission, which is to defend the UN charter. They (Israel) are attacking states that refuse to be complicit in such crimes, even if they are their allies. They attack officials of the “UN, UN agencies and human rights organizations that do nothing but fulfill their obligation in the most difficult circumstances.”