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UN chief renews call for two-state solution, calls Gaza war ‘open wound’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reiterated his call for a two-state solution, saying Israel’s ongoing war on the besieged Gaza Strip “is an open wound that threatens to infect the entire region." 

Guterres made the remarks in a post on X on Saturday, as Israel intensified its ground invasion of Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah despite international concerns for the hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians there.

“The only permanent way to end the cycle of violence and instability is through a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security,” with al-Quds as the capital of both, he said.

The most intense fighting for weeks is now taking place on both the northern and southern edges of the besieged Palestinian territory.

Israeli strikes and intense clashes with Palestinian resistance fighters rocked Rafah late Friday and early Saturday, with reports of shelling in the city’s southeast and jets bombarding its eastern areas.

Rafah, which quite recently was a shelter for more than 1.4 million Palestinian civilians, has seen some 640,000 of its inhabitants flee to other areas due to Israel’s looming full invasion.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have pushed deeper into northern Gaza, where they had claimed to have defeated the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas months ago, killing and wounding dozens of Palestinians

According to medics, 15 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded after Israeli military tanks advanced further into the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern part of the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

The Health Ministry in Gaza and the enclave’s Civil Emergency Service said teams received dozens of calls about possible casualties but were unable to carry out any searches due to the ongoing ground offensive and the aerial bombardment.

“Today is the most difficult in terms of the occupation bombardment, air strikes and tank shelling have going on almost non-stop,” a resident in Jabaliatold Reuters via a chat app.

“We know of dozens of people, martyrs (killed) and wounded, but no ambulance vehicle can get into the area.”

The Israeli military claims it is carrying out “precise operations” against resistance fighters.

Palestinian resistance groups say they have inflicted heavy casualties on Israeli soldiers by blowing up tunnels, launching rockets and mortars, and through sniping and close-quarters combat.

Israel launched its genocidal war against Gaza on October 7 last year. Since then, at least 35,386 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and another 79,366 individuals have sustained injuries.

More than 1.7 million people have been internally displaced during the war as well.

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