UN chief urges Israel to halt escalation, crossings be re-opened

AFP , Tuesday 7 May 2024

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for crossings into Gaza to be reopened immediately to allow essential aid in, and urged Israel to "stop any escalation" after it sent tanks into Rafah.

Erez Crossing
Boxes from Jordan wait in an inspection area for trucks carrying humanitarian aid supplies bound for the Gaza Strip, on the Palestinian side of the Erez crossing between southern Israel and Gaza, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. AP

 

"Things are moving in the wrong direction. I am disturbed and distressed by the renewed military activity in Rafah by the Israel Defense Forces," he said.

"The closure of both the Rafah and Karem Shalom crossings is especially damaging to an already dire humanitarian situation. They must be re-opened immediately."

The Israeli military's thrust into the eastern sector of Rafah packed with displaced civilians came a day after Israel ordered Palestinians in the area to evacuate ahead of a long-threatened ground assault.

"I urge the Government of Israel to stop any escalation, and engage constructively in the ongoing diplomatic talks," Guterres said.

"Haven't civilians suffered enough death and destruction? Make no mistake -- a full-scale assault on Rafah will be a human catastrophe."

*This was edited by Ahram Online

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