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UN chief demands immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaking at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, USA. (File photo by Reuters)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has criticized the "escalation of the bombardments" and "devastation" of Gaza, calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire as the Israeli regime intensifies its "unlawful" attacks against the entrapped people in the occupied Palestinian lands.

"I was encouraged in the last days by what seemed to be a growing consensus in the international community ... for the need of at least a humanitarian pause in the fighting," Guterres said in a statement on Saturday.

However, the UN chief noted that he was taken by surprise when the Israeli regime forces intensified the onslaught on Gaza, instead of stopping attacks as the international community demanded. 

"Regrettably, instead of the pause, I was surprised by an unprecedented escalation of the bombardments and their devastating impacts, undermining the referred humanitarian objectives," Guterres said.

On Friday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution, overwhelmingly calling for an immediate "humanitarian truce" in Gaza.

The call for an immediate ceasefire came after the United Nations Security Council failed four times to take action due to the US's recurrently casting its veto against relevant resolutions.

In another criticism of the Israeli regime's brutal war crimes against civilians, the EU's top diplomat called for a "pause of hostilities" launched against the entrapped Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, saying Israeli strikes from the air, land, and sea on Gaza violate international humanitarian law.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell demanded on Saturday the Israeli regime stop its deadly attacks against hospitals and residential areas to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip after the intense overnight bombing of the coastal territory.

“Gaza is in complete blackout and isolation while heavy shelling continues. UNRWA warns about the desperate situation of Gaza people without electricity, food, water,” the top European diplomat warned on his social media account.

“Far too many civilians, including children, have been killed. This is against International Humanitarian Law,” Borrell insisted.

“A pause of hostilities is urgently needed to enable humanitarian access,” Borrell insisted, referring to the Israeli regime's onslaught on the Palestinians since October 7, when Palestinian fighters from the Hamas resistance group launched an operation against the occupying apartheid entity.

In the meantime, the Israeli forces have been threatening to launch a ground invasion amid relentless airstrikes on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Gaza since has reached over 7,650 with more than 20,500 wounded.

The United States and Israel's other Western backers have supported the regime's merciless killing in Gaza as a means of "self-defense."

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