18.3 C
New York
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Israel resists U.N.’s calls for ceasefire as Hamas says Gaza death toll is soaring

The worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza is drawing condemnation from world leaders.

António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. He condemned the massacres carried out by Hamasmilitants in Israel on Oct. 7, but also said, “Those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Despite the appeal, Israel is continuing its bombing campaign of the Palestinian territory run by Hamas, and the prospect of an Israeliground invasion of Gaza still looms. Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations also called on Guterres to resign Tuesday after he called for a cease-fire.

Guterres on Wednesday rejected “misrepresentations” of his Tuesday statement.

“I am shocked by the misrepresentations by some of my statement yesterday in the Security Council as if, as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas,” he said. “This is false. It was the opposite.”

“I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel,” he said Wednesday, repeating remarks he made the day before. “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians — or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.”

More than 700 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in just 24 hours Tuesday, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health. If accurate, it would be the deadliest day in Gaza since the war began.

As the destruction mounts, a health crisis is deepening, with the United Nations saying a third of hospitals have stopped functioning — due to infrastructural damage or lack of fuel for generators. Remaining medical facilities, like Al Nasser Hospital, are overwhelmed.

One father, in distress at his son’s injury, questioned the rationale behind airstrikes that have hurt and killed civilians. A young girl said her mother was crushed by rocks.

In the neonatal intensive care unit at Al Shifa Hospital, doctors are also warning of a fuel shortage. With no electricity, they say, many of their tiny patients would die.

Eight trucks carrying humanitarian aid made it into Gaza Tuesday from Egypt, bringing water, food and medicine, but no fuel. Without fuel, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said its operations would be forced to stop Wednesday night.

Israel claims there is fuel in Gaza, releasing aerial images of tanks purportedly filled with over 100,000 gallons.

An Israeli military spokesman said, “Let Hamas resupply the fuel to hospitals and to its poor residents. The world must demand it from Hamas.”

The United States is pushing for fuel to get into the Gaza Strip but says it understands Israel’s concerns that Hamas could take the fuel and use it for its own purposes.

Related Articles

Latest Articles