The civilian population in the enclave “is staring into the abyss,” the high representative warned, calling on the international community to do everything possible to end his ordeal.
Guterres urged the security body to spare no effort to promote the cessation of tensions, the protection of civilians and the urgent delivery of life-saving aid.
The two-state solution, he added, is vital for Israelis, Palestinians and for international peace and security.
The top UN official again condemned the Hamas attacks that started the ongoing hostilities, although he considered Israel’s response unjustified.
“While Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket fire against Israel and its use of civilians as human shields contravene the laws of war, such conduct does not absolve Israel of its own violations,” he said.
In Guterres’ opinion, there is clearly a high risk in Gaza of aggravating existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security, which motivated the use of Article 99 of the UN Charter.
This rarely used resource allows the Secretary-General to draw the attention of the Security Council to any matter that, in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.
For his part, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, lamented the impact of Israel’s attacks and said that the bombing “put every possible impediment to humanitarian aid and access.”
If someone says he is against the destruction and displacement of the Palestinian people, he has to be in favor of an immediate ceasefire, the diplomat added.
Denying a ceasefire denies the only thing that can put an end to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
“This is how Israel is carrying out the war, through atrocities,” Mansour emphasized.
For many Gazans, their entire world is being systematically demolished before their eyes, said Mohamed Issa Abushahab, ambassador and deputy permanent representative of the United Arab Emirates.
The Security Council must act in crisis when too little aid arrives and humanitarian workers cannot deliver it for fear of being killed.
The Emirati diplomat recalled that, despite the recent temporary pause, violence and danger to civilians have not decreased.
“In fact, this conflict has now moved into a new and more dangerous phase,” he added, referring to the siege of Khan Yunis and other parts of southern Gaza.
The long-awaited session will resume this afternoon to analyze a draft resolution on the crisis presented by the United Arab Emirates and prepared by the Arab Group.
The text, still in negotiations, raises the urgent need to release all the hostages and a ceasefire, a fundamental issue that still does not meet the consensus of the 15 member states of the highest UN security body.
During the debates, representatives from China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Ecuador and others supported the draft while the United States dismissed its support for a ceasefire.