United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed strong disapproval of the Israeli government’s rejection of a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, deeming it “unacceptable.”
He cautioned that such a stance would empower extremists globally.
Addressing a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on the Middle East, Guterres emphasized the imperative for the end of Israel’s occupation.
He highlighted the unprecedented scale and speed of destruction endured by the entire population of Gaza.
Guterres firmly stated that no justification exists for the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
In a separate address to the Security Council, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki pointedly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, alleging that his actions are motivated solely by his own political survival, to the detriment of millions of Palestinians living under Israel’s illegal occupation and jeopardizing peace and security for all.
Meanwhile, Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari provided more details on the two dozen troops killed on Monday– the deadliest since the Gaza ground incursion began.
Hagari confirmed 21 Israeli soldiers were killed in an incident in central Gaza.
“An RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] was fired at a tank and simultaneously an explosion occurred at two two-story buildings,” Hagari said of battles near the Israeli boundary settlement of Kissufim.
The buildings were full of landmines that Israeli troops planted to demolish the Palestinian structures, according to the Tehran Times.
“The buildings collapsed due to this explosion while most of the forces were inside and near them,” said Hagari.
Three other Israeli troops died in fighting in southern Khan Younis.
Meanwhile, in the latest bout of intense conflict in western Khan Younis, Gaza, Israeli forces have advanced deep into the area, marking the bloodiest fighting of the new year. Palestinian officials claim that one hospital, Al Khair, was stormed, and another, Al Amal, was placed under siege, severing access to trauma care for the wounded.
Troops ventured into the al Mawasi district near the Mediterranean Coast for the first time, arresting medical staff at Al Khair Hospital. The situation at the hospitals has raised concerns, with the Palestinian Red Crescent reporting tanks surrounding Al Amal, hindering communication with staff.
Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al Qidra stated that at least 50 people were killed overnight, and the sieges on medical facilities have left dozens dead and wounded beyond rescuers’ reach.