UN pushing for full humanitarian ceasefire
Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is pushing for a full humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas instead of a temporary truce, as the “humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day”.
Egyptian, Qatari and US negotiators have been working on an extension to the original four-day truce in Gaza that expired on Monday, Egyptian security sources said, amid growing global pressure to roll over a deal which has paused seven weeks of fighting.
“The dialogue that led to the agreement must continue, resulting in a full humanitarian ceasefire, for the benefit of the people of Gaza, Israel and the wider region,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
“The United Nations will continue to support these efforts in every possible way,” he said.
Guterres again called for the remaining hostages held by Hamas to be released immediately and unconditionally, Dujarric said.
The United Nations has scaled up the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza over the past four days during the truce and sent aid to some northern areas of the coastal enclave that had been largely cut off for weeks, Dujarric said.
“But this aid barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people. The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day,” he said.