UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for an immediate ceasefire for Israel-Palestine fighting, saying children in Gaza live in “a hell on earth.”
“I was horrified by reports that nine members of one family were killed in the al-Shati refugee camp,” Guterres said during his address at the UN General Assembly meeting on the Israel-Palestine tensions.
“If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza today,” said Guterres.
“The fighting must stop immediately,” he said. “I appeal to all parties to cease hostilities, now and I reiterate my call on all sides for an immediate ceasefire.”
The UN chief said the civilians must be protected.
“Even wars have rules,” said Guterres.
“There is no justification, including counterterrorism or self-defense, for the abdication by the parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law,” he added, and called both parties to abide by international human laws.
The Turkish president of the 75th UN General Assembly also called on Israel and Palestine to swiftly “return to the negotiations with a goal of ending the occupation.”
The way forward to end tension between two nations is “addressing all final status issues, including the status of Jerusalem, and achieving two independent sovereign states, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition with the basis of the pre-1967 lines, Jerusalem as the capital of both states,” Bozkir said during his opening remarks.
“The parties must step away from the brink and respect international law. Israel, as an occupying power, must ensure compliance with its international humanitarian law obligations, including proportionate use of force.”
He urged Israel to stop the violence and incitement in the occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem.
“Palestinians should not live under perpetual fear of eviction from their homes because of expanding settler colonialism in the West Bank,” he continued. “The eviction of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah could constitute a war crime under international law.”
At least 232 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s relentless assault on the Gaza Strip since May 10, including 65 children, 39 women, and 17 elderly people.
According to Palestine’s Health Ministry, over 1,700 more people have been injured as Israel continues to pound the besieged Palestinian territory in airstrikes.
Israel launched an offensive on Gaza after Hamas fired rockets in retaliation to days of violent Israeli assaults on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan.
Source: Anadolu Agency