Guterres calls on all sides to observe Gaza ceasefire
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres made a statement to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, a few minutes before the negotiated ceasefire was due to take effect.
“I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, after 11 days of deadly hostilities”, he said.
According to the latest news reports, at least 232 Palestinians, including more than 60 children have been killed since violence erupted across the Gaza Strip on May 10.
“I commend Egypt and Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close coordination with the UN, to help restore calm to Gaza and Israel”, the UN chief added, calling on all sides to observe the ceasefire.
Guterres said it was essential for the wider international community to work with the UN, to develop “an integrated, robust package of support for a swift, sustainable reconstruction and recovery, that supports the Palestinian people and strengthens their institutions.”
He stressed that leaders had a responsibility “beyond the restoration of calm, to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.”
He described Gaza as an “integral part of the future Palestinian State” saying no effort should be spared to bring about “real national reconciliation that ends the division.” Hamas has controlled the enclave since winning elections in 2006.
Asked what he thought the next step should be, the Secretary-General said that stabilizing the ceasefire was the immediate priority. (ILKHA)
I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza & Israel, after days of deadly hostilities.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 21, 2021
All sides must observe this ceasefire.
Israeli & Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict. pic.twitter.com/VQHQMpadY8