The leaders of several major United Nations (U.N.) bodies and principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) insisted that Israel halt its counteroffensive against Hamas in a joint statement released Monday.
Israel continues to launch airstrikes into the Gaza Strip and increase troop presence within the region in retaliation against Hamas, which killed over 1,400 Israelis and kidnapped hundreds of civilians in terrorist attacks that began on Oct. 7. Over a dozen leaders of major U.N. bodies and IASC principals, fearing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, demanded an “immediate” ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, according to a joint statement on Monday. (RELATED: Israel Decries UN Secretary Who Said Hamas Attacks ‘Did Not Happen In A Vacuum’)
“An entire population is besieged and under attack, denied access to the essentials for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship. This is unacceptable,” the joint statement reads. “We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now.”
“An entire population is besieged and under attack, denied access to the essentials for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship. This is unacceptable.”
“We renew our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians held… pic.twitter.com/2e1lWBAdRs
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) November 6, 2023
The 18 signatories include World Health Organization Director Tedros Ghebreyesus, CARE International Secretary General Sofia Sineiro, and World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain, among other U.N. body leaders. The leaders also called for humanitarian relief in the form of food, water and fuel to be delivered to Gaza.
Hamas retains 200,000 gallons of fuel that could be readily made available to Gaza civilians, according to NBC News. Israel has already allowed hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian relief to cross into Gaza since the initial Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called for an immediate ceasefire in late October. He claimed that the Hamas attacks “did not happen in a vacuum,” as Israel has been “suffocating” the Palestinian people for decades.
Guterres’ statement prompted harsh criticism from current and former Israeli officials.
“[Guterres] is not fit to lead the U.N. I call on him to resign immediately,” Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan said on Oct. 24.
“He owes the people of Israel an apology,” former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said on Oct. 24. “This is disgusting and disqualifies him from leading the UN.”
The U.N. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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