The occupation forces have also raided UNRWA-run schools since Thursday, where hundreds of displaced Palestinians have been taking shelter.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has vowed to “not give up” in his efforts to reach a permanent ceasefire in Gaza on Sunday during his address at the 21st Doha Forum in Qatar.
“I reiterated my appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared. 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.
The UN chief was referring to his invocation of Article 99 of the UN Charter on December 6 which urged the UN Security Council to take action against the ongoing war in Gaza. The article was last invoked in 1989.
“I wrote that there is no effective protection of civilians in Gaza. As a matter of fact, during my mandate the number of civilian casualties in Gaza in such a short period is unprecedented,” Guterres said, referring to the letter he had submitted to the president of the Security Council.
Guterres further underlined the dire humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza under the ongoing Israeli war, including the collapsing humanitarian system and the “increased pressure for mass displacement into Egypt.”
“The situation is fast deteriorating into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region. And I urged the Security Council to press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe and I reiterated my appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared,” he said.
The relentless Israeli bombardment of Gaza has persisted for more than two months, with Palestinian women and children representing 70 percent of the total casualties.
Since October 7, the occupation forces have killed more than 17,700 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the latest figures by Palestine’s health ministry.
Euro-Med reported a much higher figure on Friday of 23,012, including 9,077 children and missing Palestinians under the rubble.
On Friday, the United States used its veto power to block a UN resolution that demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, triggering outrage over Washington’s ongoing backing of Israel’s atrocities on the ground in the Strip.
To date, Gaza has only witnessed a week-long truce between November 24 and December 1 that was mediated by Qatar and Egypt.
The pause led to the release of at least 110 Israeli and foreign captives from Gaza, according to a Doha News tally. As part of the deal, Israel released 240 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.
“I thank His Highness and the government of Qatar for their mediation role, particularly in the agreement on a humanitarian pause, increased humanitarian assistance, and the release of hostages,” Guterres said.
Israel almost immediately resumed its brutal war on Gaza after the truce expired on Friday at 7:00 AM local time, while advancing deeper into the Palestinian enclave, despite some 138 captives still in the area.
Israeli tanks have advanced further into Khan Yunis since the truce’s expiration as part of its attempts at leading a full-scale ground invasion into Gaza. The occupation forces have also raided UNRWA-run schools since Thursday, where hundreds of displaced Palestinians have been taking shelter.
Disturbing footage online also showed Israel detaining dozens of Palestinian men using its trucks and taking them to unknown locations.