UN Secretary-General urges Israel and Hamas to reach ceasefire agreement in Gaza | Israel’s war in Gaza News

Antonio Guterres has said he fears the war in Gaza will “quickly deteriorate” without a cease-fire as Israel’s attack on Rafah looms.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has renewed his call for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as a Hamas delegation is scheduled to visit the Egyptian capital Cairo soon to resume indirect talks.

“For the sake of the people of Gaza, the hostages and their families, the region and the wider world, I strongly encourage the Israeli government and Hamas leadership to reach a negotiated agreement,” the secretary-general said in a statement. I will post on Friday on X.

The UN Secretary-General added that he was concerned that without a ceasefire, “the war will deteriorate rapidly.”

His comments came as CIA Director William Burns arrived in Cairo for talks, Reuters reported, citing an Egyptian security source and three sources at Cairo’s airport.

Egypt, along with Qatar and the United States, has led efforts to mediate between Israel and Hamas to broker a ceasefire and agreement for the release of prisoners in the Gaza Strip.

A day earlier, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said he had discussed Israel’s latest ceasefire proposal with Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

Hamas confirmed on Thursday that talks are expected to take place in the coming days aimed at ending the war in Gaza.

Palestinian groups said this week they had received Israel’s updated position and would consider it before submitting a response.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron urged Hamas to accept the deal as a “generous” offer. This includes a 40-day cessation of fighting and the exchange of dozens of Israeli prisoners for more Palestinian prisoners.

However, Hamas has stressed that it will not accept any agreement that does not lead to a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the unhindered return of displaced families.

The impending invasion of Rafah

As calls for a ceasefire grow, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesperson Jens Rahlke expressed concern for civilians in the besieged enclave.

Lerke warned that an Israeli ground offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah was imminent, putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians there at risk.

“This could be an incredible blow because civilians have been massacred and humanitarian operations across the Strip are primarily taking place in Rafah,” Raake told a Geneva news conference on Friday. Ta.

Rafah is the main gateway for aid to the Gaza Strip, which is under a strict Israeli blockade and is on the brink of starvation.

Aid operations outside Rafah include clinics and food distribution points such as centers for malnourished children, Laake said.

Rafah is home to more than 1.5 displaced Palestinians, enduring deadly Israeli attacks every day.

At least 34,622 Palestinians have been killed and 77,867 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October.

The attack forced more than 80 percent of the territory’s 2.3 million people to flee their homes. Most of the displaced people moved south of the territory and ended up in Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

Countries around the world have urged Israel not to invade Rafah, warning of dire humanitarian consequences. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to launch a full-scale assault on the city regardless of the outcome of ceasefire negotiations.

He said this week that the remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah would be destroyed “with or without an agreement” so that Israel could achieve “complete victory” in the war.

In November, during a week-long truce, Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip released dozens of prisoners in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons. However, Israeli forces resumed attacks after the ceasefire expired.

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