UN chief Antonio Guterres urges immediate ceasefire, calls Gaza ‘graveyard for children’

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking on Monday, emphasized that the protection of civilians must take precedence in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Hamas. He issued a dire warning, stating that the Gaza Strip was turning into “a graveyard for children.”

Guterres conveyed his urgent message to reporters, stressing the critical need to escape the devastating cycle of destruction that the conflict has brought. He once again called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to address the escalating crisis.

Israel has committed to eliminating Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, following the militants’ October 7 attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,400 individuals and the taking of more than 240 hostages.

Israel’s response has included airstrikes on Gaza, the imposition of a siege, and a ground invasion. According to Palestinian health authorities, the death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 10,000.

Guterres expressed his deep concern, noting that Gaza is tragically becoming a place where children are buried. He cited reports of hundreds of girls and boys being killed or injured on a daily basis, highlighting clear violations of international humanitarian law.

The UN Secretary-General also emphasized the urgent need for financial support, indicating that the United Nations requires $1.2 billion to provide assistance to 2.7 million people in Gaza and the West Bank.