UN protectorate in Gaza is not a solution, says Guterres

Share
4 min read
Egyptian medics wheel a premature Palestinian baby evacuated from Gaza to an ambulance on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2023. (AFP)
Share
  • Twenty-nine premature babies arrived in Egypt on Monday, Egyptian media said, after they were evacuated from Gaza's largest hospital which has become a focal point of Israel's war.
  • Palestinian officials said a field hospital sent by Jordan entered the Gaza Strip Monday, the first since the war between Israel and the territory's rulers Hamas erupted on Oct 7.

United Nations,¬†United States — A UN protectorate in Gaza would not solve the conflict there, the body’s Secretary-General said Monday, calling instead for a “transition period” involving Arab nations and the United States and leading to a two-state solution.

Antonio Guterres said it was “important to be able to transform this tragedy into an opportunity” — which, for him, meant moving “in a determined and irreversible way to a two-state solution.”

This means, after the current conflict ends, “a strengthened Palestinian Authority, assuming responsibilities in Gaza,” he said.

But the Palestinian Authority cannot go into Gaza backed by Israeli tanks, he added — meaning the “international community needs to look into a transition period.”

“I do not think that a UN protectorate in Gaza is a solution,” however, Guterres said.

Instead, he called for a “multi-stakeholder approach” that would see the US act as the “main guarantor” of Israel’s security, while Arab nations are “essential” to support Palestinians.

“Everybody needs to come together to create the conditions for the transition, allowing for a strengthened Palestinian Authority to assume responsibilities in Gaza,” and from there to a two-state solution, he said.

Guterres also again denounced the killing of civilians — especially children — in Gaza as Israel wages a relentless air and ground campaign in retaliation for the October 7 attacks by Hamas.

For seven years now he has published a “list of shame” of parties to armed conflict who commit grave violations against children. Israel’s absence from the list has previously been criticized by human rights organizations.

Without saying whether that may change this year, Guterres put the number of children killed in Gaza into stark context.

In the “shame” reports, the highest number of children killed in one year by one actor was the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2017-2018, followed by the Syrian government and its allies before 2020. Both times the tally was in the hundreds.

“Without entering into discussing the accuracy of the numbers that were published by de facto authorities in Gaza, what is clear is that we have had in a few weeks thousands of children killed,” Guterres told reporters.

“We are witnessing a killing of civilians that is unparalleled and unprecedented in any conflict since I am Secretary-General.”

29 premature babies reach Egypt after Gaza evacuation

Twenty-nine premature babies arrived in Egypt on Monday, Egyptian media said, after they were evacuated from Gaza’s largest hospital which has become a focal point of Israel’s war with Hamas.

The infants were evacuated Sunday from the Al-Shifa hospital, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has described as a “death zone” as Israel seeks to uncover what it says are Hamas bases in tunnels underneath the facility.

The state-affiliated Al-Qahera News reported that the babies arrived in Egypt via the Rafah crossing, the only entry and exit point to the Palestinian territory that is not controlled by Israel.

An initial 31 babies were reported evacuated from Al-Shifa to another Gaza clinic and it was not immediately clear why only 29 arrived in Egypt.

Al-Qahera News said that the babies transferred on Monday were placed in incubators.

Palestinian officials say Jordan’s field hospital reach inside Gaza

Palestinian officials said a field hospital sent by Jordan entered the Gaza Strip Monday, the first since the war between Israel and the territory’s rulers Hamas erupted on October 7.

“The hospital will be established in Khan Yunis, to receive the wounded and the sick, under catastrophic conditions which southern hospitals are experiencing, with the influx of hundreds of wounded each day and continued aggressive aerial and artillery strikes,” said Mohammed Zaqout, director-general of Gaza hospitals.

There are around 30,000 wounded people across Gaza, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory.

The death toll in Gaza has hit 13,000, mostly civilians, the ministry said Sunday.

Qatar to donate ticket revenue of Asian Cup to aid Palestine relief

Ticket revenues for the Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar are to be donated to support Palestinian relief efforts, the football tournament’s local organizing committee announced on Monday, as Israel’s bombardment of Gaza continued.

“We have decided to donate ticketing revenue generated from the Asian Cup in Qatar to much needed relief efforts in Palestine,” the committee’s chairman said without giving details on what proportion of sales would be given in aid.

“We will be certain that this corporate social responsibility initiative will benefit those most affected, and that football fulfils its role as a support mechanism for people during the most difficult of times,” Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani added.

SPEEDREAD


MORE FROM THE POST