United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres fervently pleaded for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Middle East.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Guterres expressed deep concern over the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has now surpassed 100 days.
Guterres’s call for humanitarian cease-fire and two-state solution in Gaza
He highlighted that the involved parties are blatantly disregarding international law and the Geneva Conventions, also noting violations of the United Nations Charter.
Guterres reiterated his stance, stating, “I repeat my call for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza and the process that leads to sustained peace for Israelis and Palestinians based on a two-state solution.”
His speech in Davos, Switzerland, emphasized that this approach is critical to alleviate suffering and prevent further regional instability.
Guterres’s warning on Gaza crisis amid Israeli resistance
In early December, Guterres took the unprecedented step of invoking Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, pointing to the imminent collapse of Gaza’s humanitarian system.
He warned of the dire consequences for the displaced, starving, and injured civilians in Gaza, predicting a complete breakdown of public order.
Despite increasing international pressure for a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has remained firm in his refusal to halt hostilities.
Hostage crisis and failed Negotiations: Netanyahu’s Demands
Netanyahu insists on the return of all hostages taken by Hamas in an unexpected attack on October 7, which triggered the current war.
A temporary cease-fire in 2023 facilitated the partial release of hostages held by Hamas.
This exchange, involving Palestinian prisoners, collapsed when negotiations with Hamas, Qatar, and Egypt reached an impasse. Israel cited Hamas’s failure to provide an acceptable list of hostages for release as a critical reason for the deal’s failure.
Global leaders tackle Middle East and Ukraine crisis
The conflict has resulted in significant casualties, with Hamas attacks killing 1,200 in Israel and taking over 200 hostages.
In response, Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza has led to over 23,000 deaths, as reported by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
At the forum, Guterres was joined by other global leaders, all intent on resolving the Middle East crisis and addressing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict nearing its second anniversary.
Secretary Blinken stresses Palestinian statehood for Israel’s security
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking at the forum, emphasized the necessity of a sovereign Palestinian state for Israel’s long-term security.
He acknowledged the complex and challenging nature of this endeavor.
Following his visit to the Middle East, Blinken noted the regional willingness to support Gaza’s Palestinians, contingent on Israel’s cooperation in the process.