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UN chief calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Cairo, Oct 19 (Prensa Latina) United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres called on Thursday for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

“Gaza needs aid at scale and on a sustained basis,” Guterres said during a press conference in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

He called on Hamas to release the hostages it seized on Oct. 7, and on Israel to give unrestricted access for aid.

The UN chief recalled that this context was triggered by Hamas incursions into Israel and the subsequent Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza, both of which took a heavy toll in civilian lives.

Let me be very clear in reaffirming that international humanitarian law must be respected; that protection of civilians is also imperative and that any attack on a hospital, school or UN facilities is banned by international law, Guterres insisted.

Guterres reiterated his calls to Hamas for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and to Israel for immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip.

For nearly two weeks, the Gaza people have been without shipments of fuel, food, water, medicine and other basic necessities, Guterres added.

In this regard, he warned of risks of disease spread and the dwindling supplies for the population.

People are dying. And I was horrified by images of death and destruction at Al-Ahli hospital, he remarked.

Civilians in Gaza are in desperate need of basic services and supplies, and for such a reason we need speedy and unimpeded humanitarian access, he stressed.

“We need food, water, medicine and fuel right now, we need them on a large scale and we need them to be sustained,” Guterres added.

The high representative acknowledged Egypt’s leading role with its actions and openness in dealing with the difficult scenario in Gaza.

Gaza is demonstrating that it is a pillar of multilateral cooperation and important for helping to ease tensions and alleviate colossal human pain and suffering.