UN Security-General, António Guterres - UN Photo - Manuel Elias
CAIRO – 30 August 2017: On the last day of his official visit to the Middle East, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Gaza, where he visited a school managed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the northern area of the Gaza Strip.
Guterres, who is visiting Gaza for the first time since taking office as U.N. Secretary-General, appealed for Palestinian unity in line with the principles of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), including rejecting violence and terrorism and recognizing Israel’s right to exist, according to the U.N. News Center. He added that the “division only undermines the cause of the Palestinian people.”
“I have a dream. A dream to one day see the Holy Land with two states – Israel and Palestine – living in peace and security together,” said Guterres.
Furthermore, the Secretary-General stressed the importance of a credible political process and actions to improve the living conditions of Palestinians. He said, “It is important to open the closures, in line with resolution 1860,” referring to the Security Council resolution from 2009 that called for an immediate ceasefire to the fighting between Israel and Hamas, as well as lifting the blockades on food, fuel and medicines.
Finally, the U.N. chief called on the international community to strongly support humanitarian aid in Gaza, and he ordered an immediate release of $4 million from the limited resources of the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) to support the U.N. activities working for the benefit of the Gazan people.
On Monday, Guterres arrived in Israel and met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Later on Tuesday, the UN chief visited the headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah and met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Gutterres’s visit
to push the peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.
The SG’s visit comes following Israeli escalations witnessed in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque in July, which led to the death of more than 20 Palestinians and 6 Israelis, in addition to the detention of more than 650 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies.
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