LONDON: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday promised not to “give up” on urging the Security Council to pass a ceasefire resolution that would avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
“Regrettably, the Security Council failed to do it, but that does not make it less necessary. So, I can promise I will not give up,” Guterres said at the opening session of the Doha Forum in Qatar.
The two-day gathering of regional and international leaders is being held to discuss ways to end Israel’s war on Gaza, aid efforts, and plans to release hostages.
“The horrific attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7, followed by the relentless Israeli bombardment of Gaza, were met by a resounding silence from the council.
“The council’s authority and credibility were severely undermined,” he said two days after the US blocked a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the besieged Palestinian territory.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad said: “It is unfortunate that, despite the disclosure of the scale of the crime, and the outbreak of public protests that took to the streets all over the world, some official circles still see the Palestinian people as ineligible for demanding a ceasefire.”
He said it was “disgraceful for the international community to allow this heinous crime to go on for two months, during which a systematic and deliberate killing of innocent defenseless civilian(s), including women and children, continued, entire families were removed, an already fragile infrastructure was targeted, cutting off supplies of electricity, water, food, fuel and medicine, and destroying hospitals, worship places, schools and vital facilities.”
Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Israel must be held accountable, with sanctions imposed, and a war-crimes probe of the Tel Aviv regime.
Shtayyeh denounced Washington for the use of its veto against the draft resolution, saying that this allows Israel to kill more Palestinians. He said it was unacceptable for Israel to talk about eliminating the Hamas movement because it is part of the Palestinian political structure.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned that the continuation of the war would drag the region into an all-out conflict, and that Israel wants to “wipe out” the Palestinians.
He called on the US to pressure Israel to halt its violations of international law, which has seen it perpetrate war crimes and genocide.
Qatar’s emir, and Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, held several meetings on the sidelines of the forum with senior UN officials, heads of state and ministers.