UN chief Guterres: Palestinians enduring ‘one of the darkest chapters’ in their history

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers remarks during a Security Council open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security at the UN headquarters in New York on November 20, 2023. (Yuki IWAMURA / AFP)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers remarks during a Security Council open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security at the UN headquarters in New York on November 20, 2023. (Yuki IWAMURA / AFP)

The head of the United Nations reiterates his call for a long-term truce in Gaza and the release of all hostages held by Palestinian terrorists.

In a statement, ahead of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says Palestinians were enduring “one of the darkest chapters” in their history.

Guterres again condemned Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel but said it “cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Guterres has been repeatedly criticized by Israel for appearing to justify the Hamas assault — which killed some 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and saw 240 taken hostage — when he claimed the attack did not “take place in a vacuum.”

He calls for “a long-term humanitarian ceasefire, unrestricted access for lifesaving aid, the release of all hostages, the protection of civilians and an end to violations of international humanitarian law.”

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend a temporary cease-fire through Wednesday, with more planned releases of terror-held hostages and Palestinian security prisoners from jails in Israel. But Israel has vowed to resume the war to destroy Hamas once it stops releasing hostages.

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