Guterres continued that he was speaking on behalf of “the vast majority of the world that has had enough of this endless nightmare.” He lamented the “destroyed houses, the disappeared families and entire generations, as well as the hunger and starvation” that threatened the population.

Guterres had recently landed in the Egyptian city of al-Arish, near Rafah. A meeting with humanitarian workers was also planned on the Egyptian side of the border town.

It is the UN Secretary General’s second visit to Rafah. In the part of the city in the Gaza Strip that borders Egypt, around 1.5 million Palestinians now live in a very small space, seeking protection from the fighting in other parts of the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli army launched a military operation in the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th. According to Israeli information, around 1,160 people were killed and around 250 others were kidnapped as hostages in the Gaza Strip in the major attack on Israel by Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the USA and the EU.

Since then, Israel has taken massive military action in the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, which cannot be independently verified, more than 32,100 people were killed. The mediators USA, Egypt and Qatar have been trying for weeks to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas on a ceasefire and the release of the hostages in the Gaza Strip.

After more than five months of war between Israel and Hamas, the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory is catastrophic. According to the UN World Food Program (WFP), the 2.4 million Palestinians living there are on the brink of famine.