Dec 6, 2023 at 8:43 PM Update: 12 minutes ago
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has issued a rare warning to the Security Council on the situation in the Gaza Strip. He sees the war between Israel and Hamas as a threat to international peace and security.
Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter. It states that the Secretary General may draw attention to any issue that threatens international security. That is what he is now doing with the situation in the Gaza Strip.
According to the UN chief, the continued Israeli bombardments and living conditions in Gaza could lead to complete disruption of the area. Citizens are not safe anywhere, says Guterres.
“We face a serious risk of collapse of the humanitarian system. The situation is rapidly deteriorating towards a catastrophe with potentially irreversible consequences for the Palestinians and for peace and security in the region,” the Secretary General wrote in a letter to the Security Council. He writes that this must be prevented at all costs.
Article 99 of the UN Charter is seen as a diplomatic tool and is rarely used. Guterres himself has never done that before.
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Israel calls UN chief a ‘threat to world peace’
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said on X that Guterres’ warning “is a danger to world peace.” According to him, Guterres’ statements show “support for the terrorist group Hamas”. Guterres also condones “the murder of the elderly, the kidnapping of babies and the rape of women,” Cohen says.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called on Guterres to resign after the ruling. Erdan said the UN chief had reached “a new moral low” and that this was proof of his “bias against Israel”.
Israel and the UN boss have been at odds with each other since the war with Hamas broke out. In October, Guterres said the war between Israel and Hamas has not occurred “in a vacuum.” He also spoke of “56 years of suffocating occupation” for the Palestinians. According to Israel, he thus justified Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7.
The conflict explained
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