ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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UN chief: Hamas assault on Israel doesn’t justify ‘collective punishment’ of Gazans

Journalists watch a large screen showing United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attending the International Peace Summit hosted by the Egyptian president in Cairo on October 21, 2023. (Khaled Desouki/AFP)
Journalists watch a large screen showing United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attending the International Peace Summit hosted by the Egyptian president in Cairo on October 21, 2023. (Khaled Desouki/AFP)

The United Nations’ chief says Hamas’s “reprehensible assault” on Israel “can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Secretary-General António Guterres calls for the protection of civilians and the sparing of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and UN premises, from the Israeli strikes.

Speaking at a summit Egypt is hosting on the Israel-Hamas war, Guterres pointed to the “the wider context” of war, saying that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “the only realistic foundation for a true peace and stability.”

“Israelis must see their legitimate needs for security materialized, and Palestinians must see their legitimate aspirations for an independent state realized,” he says.

He says the UN is working around the clock with all parties to ensure a sustainable delivery of aid to Gaza, following the crossing of a first twenty-truck convoy.

“But the people of Gaza need a commitment for much, much more — a continuous delivery of aid to Gaza at the scale that is needed,” he said.

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