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UN chief calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday once again called for a humanitarian ceasefire in response to the increasing number of deaths in Gaza.

"This war is having a staggering and unacceptable number of civilian casualties, including women and children, every day," the top UN official said in a statement. "This must stop. I reiterate my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire."

Since October 7, over 11,000 individuals have lost their lives in the beleaguered region of Gaza. Spikes in casualties, attacks on schools and shelters, including the death of a UN worker, and crippling fuel shortages blocking aid deliveries rippled across Gaza over the weekend, as the World Health Organization helped to evacuate 31 babies in critical condition at the besieged Al-Shifa Hospital.

"I am deeply shocked that two UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) schools were struck in less than 24 hours in Gaza. Dozens of people – many women and children – were killed and injured as they were seeking safety in United Nations premises," the secretary-general said.

He added that hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians are seeking shelter at United Nations facilities throughout Gaza due to the intensified fighting. "I reaffirm that our premises are inviolable."

(Cover: Smoke rising above buildings during an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip, November 19, 2023. /CFP)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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