NEW YORK, May 16 – Amid the most serious escalation in Gaza and Israel in years, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate stop to the fighting. Addressing an open meeting of the Security Council, aired live on UN Web TV, he said the United Nations is actively engaging all sides towards an immediate ceasefire.
“I am appalled by the increasingly large numbers of Palestinian civilian casualties, including many women and children, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.,” he said. “I also deplore Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza.
The UN Chief decried hostilities that have forced thousands of Palestinians to leave their homes in Gaza and seek with limited access to basic services while hospitals strain from the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Israeli civilians live in fear of rockets launched from Gaza. And he emphasized that the status quo at the holy sites must be upheld and respected.
“Only a negotiated sustainable political solution will end, once and for all, these devastating cycles of violence and lead to a peaceful future for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”