Conflicts & War

UN Secretary-General calls on Hamas to release hostages and Israel to open up Gaza

United Nations, Oct 15 (EFE).- UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday sent a strong message to both Hamas and Israel that the former should release the hostages they are holding hostage, and the latter should allow humanitarian aid to reach the Gaza Strip.

“Each of these objectives is valid in its own right. They should not become bargaining chips and should be implemented because that is the right thing to do,” Guterres said.

The Portuguese politician has been one of the most prominent voices calling on Israel to open the Gaza Strip to allow the passage of humanitarian aid.

The enclave, home to more than two million people, has been under a total blockade since October 7, under constant bombardment by Israeli forces and on edge over the possibility of a ground invasion by Israel, which has refused to allow humanitarian aid in until Hamas hostages are released.

In his message, Guterres recalled that the United Nations has supplies, medicines, and fuel available in Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank and can get them to the Gaza Strip in hours if its teams are assured passage.

Meanwhile, the US is working with Canada and other countries to get Egypt, which controls the only border crossing not under Israeli rule, to allow hundreds of foreigners and Palestinians with passports from other countries, including US and European citizens, to leave.

Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing conditional on allowing humanitarian aid into the enclave.

On Sunday, while traveling in the area, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured that the crossing “will be opened” to facilitate the arrival of humanitarian aid to the trapped Palestinians and announced the appointment of a special envoy for humanitarian affairs in the Middle East who will be in charge of coordinating the arrival of humanitarian aid to the Strip. EFE

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