UN chief to visit Gaza border as part of new appeal for ceasefire


CAIRO (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit Egypt’s border with Gaza on Saturday to repeat pleas for a ceasefire, bringing relief to the region devastated by more than five months of war between Israel and Hamas. Can get.

His visit comes as Israel has threatened to launch a major military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, just over the border with Egypt, despite international appeals against such an attack.

Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are sheltering around Rafah. Although conditions are worse in the north of the Strip, the plight of civilians throughout the region has deteriorated rapidly since the conflict began.

war in israel and gaza

RAFAH, GAZA - FEBRUARY 22: Palestinian families, who have been repeatedly displaced due to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, live in makeshift tents in an empty area in southern Rafah, Gaza, February 22, 2024.  (Photo by Abed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Guterres will visit Al Arish in Egypt’s North Sinai, where most international relief for Gaza is distributed and stored, and the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, one of the entry points for aid.

He is expected to visit a hospital in Al Arish and meet with UN humanitarian workers in Rafah.

As hopes for a ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan have faded and the humanitarian situation in Gaza has become more desperate, the United States and other countries sought to use air drops and ships to deliver more relief. Is.

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A Maka indigenous woman applies makeup before protesting for the recovery of ancestral lands in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.  Leader Mateo Martínez has condemned that the Paraguayan state has built a bridge on his land in El Chaco's Bartolomé de las Casas, Presidente Hayes Department.  (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

But humanitarian agencies say only about a fifth of the needed supplies are entering Gaza, and the only way to meet needs in the coastal zone is to rapidly ramp up deliveries by road.

Israel, which has vowed to destroy Hamas and is worried that the Palestinian militant group will divert aid, has closed all its land crossings into the enclave.

This week, a global food monitor warned that famine was imminent in northern Gaza and could spread to other parts of the region if a ceasefire was not agreed.

Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has killed more than 32,000 people, many of them women and children, according to local health officials.

Israel launched the attack in response to a Hamas attack that left nearly 1,200 people dead and more than 250 taken hostage, according to Israeli data.

Guterres, who made a previous visit to Egypt’s border with Gaza shortly after the war began, is visiting Egypt and Jordan as part of an annual “solidarity trip” to Muslim countries during Ramadan.

While in the Egyptian capital Cairo, he is to break the daily fast with refugees from Sudan, where war between rival military factions has displaced some 8.5 million people, pushing parts of the population towards extreme hunger, And has given rise to ethnically motivated waves. Killings in Darfur.

(Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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