Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that a military operation in Rafah was necessary to ensure victory in the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza strip.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said that the attacks by Hamas on October 7 did not happen in a vacuum.
“Palestine has been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. So, October 7 attacks have not taken place in a vacuum,” Guterres said at a meeting of the UN Security Council, according to media reports.
He said that the Palestinians have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements, plagued by violence, their economy stifled, their people displaced, and their homes demolished.
“Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing,” the UN chief said.
He said that no party to an armed conflict is above international humanitarian law.
“I am deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Israelis have reacted to the UN chief’s statement strongly calling it “shocking”, “horrible”, and “totally detached from the reality of our region”.
“His comments constitute a justification for terrorism and murder,” Israeli envoy to the UN Gilad Erdan said.
He said that it is sad that a person with such views is the head of an organisation that arose after the Holocaust.
Meanwhile, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry has estimated that the death toll has reached over 700 in the last 24 hours.