| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

UN Chief Says He Will Not Give Up Appeals for Ceasefire in Gaza

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday he will not give up appealing for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, adding that the war undermined the credibility and authority of the Security Council.

Gueterres was speaking at the Doha Forum conference as Washington vetoed on Friday a proposed UN Security Council demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the war between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas, Reuters said.

“I urged the Security Council to press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe and I reiterated my appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared,” Guterres said.

“Regrettably, the Security Council failed to do it, but that does not make it less necessary,” he said.

“I will not give up,” Guterres added.

Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the gathering that Doha will continue to pressure Israel and Hamas for a truce despite “narrowing” chances.

Qatar has been leading negotiations between the group and Israel.

Sheikh Mohammed said hostages were released from Gaza because of negotiations and not because of Israel’s military actions.

The head of UNRWA, the UN aid agency for Palestinians, said the dehumanization of Palestinians has allowed the international community to tolerate Israel’s continued attacks on Gaza.

“There is no doubt that a humanitarian ceasefire is needed if we want to put an end to hell on earth right now in Gaza,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said.

The United States and Israel oppose a ceasefire because they believe it would only benefit Hamas. Washington instead supports pauses in fighting to protect civilians and allow the release of hostages taken by Hamas in a deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat