30, August 2017
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for an end to the decade-long Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, describing the situation in the coastal Palestinian enclave as one of the most “dramatic humanitarian crises.”
Guterres made the remarks during a visit on Wednesday to a school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, also known as UNRWA, in northern Gaza.
The besieged Palestinian territory is undergoing an electricity and water crisis. “I am deeply moved to be in Gaza today, unfortunately to witness one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations,” Guterres stated.
He added that it was “important to open the closures,” in a reference to the Israeli siege of Gaza and Egypt’s closure of Rafah border crossing, the only passageway to the outside world for the impoverished coastal Palestinian sliver.
The UN secretary general wrapped up his three-day visit to the Palestinian territories on Wednesday. The trip was the first of its kind since Guterres took office. During the trip, Guterres met Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem al-Quds and Ramallah. The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas welcomed Guterres’ visit, urging him to work for the lifting of the Israeli blockade.