• Sunday, 14 July 2024

UN chief Guterres: Israelis and Palestinians at 'decisive moment'

UN chief Guterres: Israelis and Palestinians at 'decisive moment'

New York, 7 May 2024 (dpa/MIA) - UN Secretary General António Guterres has called on Israel and Hamas to reach a ceasefire deal and avoid a full Israeli offensive in Rafah, terming it "a decisive moment for the Palestinian and Israeli people and for the fate of the entire region."

Without a ceasefire, there would be no release of Israeli hostages from Gaza, and there would be a "devastating" offensive in Rafah, Guterres said in a statement.

"A full-scale assault on Rafah will be a human catastrophe," he wrote. "An assault on Rafah would be a strategic mistake, a political calamity, and a humanitarian nightmare."

The two sides needed to show "political courage" to reach an agreement, he said.

Israeli forces advanced into parts of the city of Rafah in the sealed-off coastal strip overnight and took control of the Gaza side of the border crossing with Egypt.

Photo: EPA