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UN chief visits Gaza border in new plea for ceasefire


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres walks with North Sinai Governor Major General Mohamed Abdel-Fadel Shousha, at Al Arish airport, amid the continuing battle between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Egypt March 23, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will go to Egypt’s border with Gaza on Saturday to resume pleas for a ceasefire that might deliver reduction to a territory devastated by greater than 5 months of conflict between Israel and Hamas.

His journey comes as Israel threatens to launch a significant navy operation within the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah, simply over the border from Egypt, regardless of worldwide appeals in opposition to such an assault.

A majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are sheltering round Rafah. Though circumstances are worse within the north of the strip, the plight of civilians throughout the territory has deteriorated sharply because the battle has floor on.

Mr. Guterres arrived on March 23 in Al Arish in Egypt’s northern Sinai, the place a lot of the worldwide reduction for Gaza is delivered and stockpiled. Receiving him, regional governor Mohamed Shusha stated some 7,000 vans have been ready in North Sinai to ship support to Gaza, however that inspection procedures demanded by Israel had held up the circulation of reduction, in keeping with an announcement from Shusha’s workplace.

He is predicted to go to a hospital in Al Arish the place Palestinians evacuated from Gaza are receiving therapy, and meet U.N. humanitarian staff on the Egyptian aspect of the Rafah crossing, one of many entry factors for the help.

As hopes for a truce throughout Ramadan have light and the humanitarian scenario in Gaza has grow to be extra determined, the United States and different international locations have sought to make use of air drops and ships to ship extra reduction.

But humanitarian businesses say that solely about one-fifth of the required quantity of provides has been coming into Gaza, and that the one option to meet wants in coastal enclave is to quickly speed up deliveries by highway.

Growing starvation in Gaza

Israel, which has vowed to destroy Hamas and is nervous that the Palestinian militant group will divert support, has saved all however one in every of its land crossings into the enclave closed. It opened its Kerem Shalom crossing near Rafah in late December and denies accusations by Egypt and U.N. support businesses that it has delayed deliveries of humanitarian reduction.

Also learn: UN company says ‘famine is imminent’ in Gaza; support distribution is nearly unattainable due to Israeli restrictions

This week, a world meals monitor warned that famine was imminent in northern Gaza and will unfold to different components of the territory if a ceasefire just isn’t agreed.

More than 32,000 folks have been killed by Israel’s navy marketing campaign in Gaza, a lot of them ladies and youngsters, in keeping with native well being authorities.

Israel launched the assault in response to an assault by Hamas through which some 1,200 folks have been killed and greater than 250 taken hostage, in keeping with Israeli tallies.

Mr. Guterres, who made one earlier journey to Egypt’s border with Gaza shortly after the conflict broke out, is visiting Egypt and Jordan as a part of an annual “solidarity trip” to Muslim international locations throughout Ramadan. While within the Egyptian capital Cairo, he is because of break the each day quick with refugees from Sudan, the place conflict between rival navy factions has displaced practically 8.5 million folks, pushed components of the inhabitants to excessive starvation, and led to waves of ethnically-driven killings in Darfur.

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