UN Secretary General: “Gaza Siege must be lifted”

PNN/ Bethlehem

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres began his tour in Gaza Strip. He arrived in the Gaza Strip for a several-hour visit to check the humanitarian situation he called for the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip  reportedly , he said,“I am deeply moved to be in Gaza today, unfortunately to witness one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations,” He also  said it is“important to open the closures” imposed on the Strip.

Guterres visited the main UN headquarters in Gaza City to receive a briefing from UN leaders on the situation in the Gaza Strip.He said that, he is “very proud of the work that the UN staff specially in Gaza in support of the people of Gaza in these very difficult moments”. The UN chief’s visit comes as Gaza Strip is currently  facing a mounting humanitarian crisis as it is facing an electricity crisis.

 He will tour Gaza and meet with Palestinian notables and Gaza  leaders. However, he is not scheduled to meet with any Hamas leaders. On Tuesday, Hamas leaders said Guterres is “unwelcomed” in Gaza because they said he expressed solidarity with Israeli hostages in Gaza and neglected Palestinians prisoners suffering in israeli prisons. Later, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, said the militant group “welcomes” Guterres and hopes he will work to end the Israeli blockade of the strip.

Guterres was  accompanied by Israel’s representative to the UN Danny Danon Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Aviv Kochavi Israel’s deputy military chief as he visited a military operations room in Kibbutz Nahal Oz settlement outpost, just outside the Gaza strip. Guterres met with jewish settlers of the area surrounding Gaza before heading to the territory. 

Reportedly, when visiting, Ramallah, West Bank, Guterres said on Tuesday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains the only viable option after his meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. Guterres said that his dream is to”see the Holy Land with two states – Israel and Palestine – living in peace together. Because of the that, I have appealed for a credible political process in order to address the problems that exists and to allow for the two-state solution to be implemented, removing the obstacles on the ground. At the same time, together with that political process, a program of action to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people. It is important to open the closures, in line with resolution 1860 of the Security Council. It is important to avoid the buildup of the militantism that can undermine the confidence between the two people. 

The UN chief’s statements came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed not to remove any Israeli settlements from the West Bank.“We returned here in order to stay here forever,” Netanyahu said on Monday.