United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that the attacks launched by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Israel do not justify collective punishment of the residents of the Gaza Strip.
He added in an interview with the American CNN network, “You cannot use Hamas as a reason for collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” stressing that 101 United Nations employees have died so far in the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.
According to Guterres, the United States has a special ability and responsibility to contribute to how Gaza is managed, but the best scenario is for the revitalized Palestinian Authority to be able to assume leadership in Gaza.
He stressed that it is difficult for the Palestinian Authority or Arab countries to assume their responsibilities in Gaza with the presence of the Israeli army.
The UN Secretary also expressed his concern about the expansion of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis to Lebanon and other places in the Middle East.
A few days ago, Guterres said that civilians in Gaza, including women and children, face an endless nightmare as their neighborhoods are destroyed and their loved ones killed.
He added, “While the bombs are falling on them, they are deprived of their most basic needs, such as water, food, electricity, and medicine.”
Guterres stressed that the needs in the Gaza Strip are very great, reiterating his call for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire to protect civilians and provide them with aid.
For 37 days, the Israeli army has been waging an air, land and sea war on the besieged Gaza Strip, during which it “destroyed residential neighborhoods on top of their residents,” leading to the death of more than 11,000, including more than 8,000 children and women, and the injury of more than 28,000.