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UN Chief Urges Humanitarian Ceasefire Amid Escalating Gaza Casualties

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has renewed his plea for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to exact a devastating toll on civilians. Guterres expressed deep concern over the staggering number of civilian casualties, including women and children, emphasizing the need to halt the ongoing violence.

The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 11,000 since October 7, with over 4,500 children and 3,027 women among the victims. Recent attacks on UNRWA schools and shelters have resulted in dozens of casualties, further highlighting the peril faced by those seeking safety on United Nations premises. The Secretary-General reaffirmed the inviolability of UN facilities and stated that hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians are seeking refuge in UN shelters.

The conflict’s impact extends beyond Gaza, with over 1,200 deaths reported in Israel, 212 in the West Bank, and numerous individuals held captive in Gaza. The call for a humanitarian ceasefire underscores the urgent need for diplomatic efforts to address the escalating crisis and prevent further loss of life.