Amid War, UN Chief Antonio Guterres To Visit Gaza Border Today

Amid War, UN Chief To Visit Gaza Border Today

Guterres will also visit a hospital in El-Arish, an Egyptian city which sits close to the Gaza border.

United Nations:

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit the Egypt-Gaza border city of Rafah on Saturday to reiterate his call for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, his spokesman said Friday.

Guterres, who is currently in Brussels, will arrive in Egypt on Friday evening for “his annual Ramadan solidarity trip which comes this year in turbulent times, with the conflict in Gaza,” spokesman Farhan Haq said.

While there, the secretary-general will meet aid workers on the Egyptian side of Rafah, which is split over the border with the Gaza Strip and has been a key gateway for humanitarian supplies reaching the territory.

Guterres will also visit a hospital in El-Arish, an Egyptian city which sits close to the Gaza border.

Israel this week threatened to launch an offensive on the Palestinian side of Rafah, which US Secretary State Antony Blinken has warned would be a “mistake” that “risks further isolating Israel around the world.”

Around 1.5 million people are crowded into Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, after almost six months of Israeli bombardment that has brought the territory to its knees.

At least 31,988 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israel’s offensive in October, according to the Hamas-led health ministry in Gaza.

The war was triggered by the October 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israel which killed around 1,160 people — mostly civilians — according to a count by AFP based on official Israeli figures.

During his visit, Guterres — who last visited Rafah in October — will “reiterate his calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and silencing the guns, particularly in Gaza and Sudan,” Haq said.

In Cairo he is expected to have iftar — an evening meal marking the end of Ramadan’s daily fast — with refugees who fled Sudan because of ongoing conflict there.

Guterres will then travel to Amman in Jordan to visit UNRWA facilities.

UNRWA, the UN agency which supports Palestinian refugees, has been hit by controversy recently over Israeli claims 12 of its 30,000 employees were involved in the October 7 Hamas attacks.

The UN has since fired the accused employees and launched both an internal and an independent investigation into UNWRA.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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