“I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, after 11 days of deadly hostilities,” he said, expressing his deepest condolences to all victims of violence and their loved ones throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
According to the latest news reports, at least 232 Palestinians, including more than 60 children, have been killed since the outbreak of cross-border violence between Gaza and southern Israel on Monday. At least 12 people were killed in Israel, where Hamas and other extremist groups launched indiscriminate rocket fire, sometimes deep into Israeli territory.
The Secretary-General added, “I commend Egypt and Qatar for the efforts made in close coordination with the United Nations to help restore calm to Gaza and Israel,” calling on all parties to abide by the ceasefire.
Mr. Guterres said it is imperative for the wider international community to work with the United Nations to develop “an integrated and robust package of support for rapid and sustainable reconstruction and recovery that supports the Palestinian people and strengthens their institutions.”
Address the root causes
He stressed that leaders in Israel and Palestine bear a responsibility “beyond restoring calm, to initiate a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.”
He described Gaza as “an integral part of the future Palestinian state,” saying that no effort should be spared to achieve “true national reconciliation that ends division.” Hamas has controlled the territory since it won elections in 2006 and has led the rival Fatah movement that controls the West Bank.
I invested in peace
Mr. Guterres affirmed the “deep commitment of the United Nations” to work with the Israelis and the Palestinians, and with all international and regional partners, including through the Middle East Quartet, “to return to the path of negotiations aimed at ending the occupation and allowing the achievement of a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines and United Nations resolutions.” And international law and mutual agreements. “
When asked what he believed should be the next step, the Secretary-General said that stabilizing the ceasefire was an urgent priority.