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Foreign minister, UN chief call for immediate ceasefire, humanitarian aid into Gaza

By Maria Weldali - Mar 25,2024 - Last updated at Mar 26,2024

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi and UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday emphasises the need for a humanitarian ceasefire in the war-torn Gaza Strip (Photo by Maria Weldali)

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi and UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday emphasised the urgent need for a humanitarian ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Secretary-General Guterres, as part of his annual Ramadan solidarity mission, visited Jordan following a three-day trip to Egypt. His visit highlights the UN’s commitment to addressing urgent humanitarian issues in conflict zones.

During a joint press conference after their discussions, Safadi provided insight into the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, explaining that the "continuous killing of innocent people, the massacre of civilians, and the denial of Palestinians’ rights are unjustifiable."

He added that aid supplies have not been granted access to northern Gaza, leaving Palestinians in the strip amidst starvation during the holy month of Ramadan. 

Safadi also pointed out that the Palestinian death toll from malnutrition and dehydration in the Gaza Strip is increasing, noting that nearly a million Palestinians in Gaza are facing famine and have reached the fifth level of the Interim Food Security Classification.

Safadi also urged the UN Security Council to send a clear message that Israel’s “atrocities are unacceptable,” adding that it remains uncertain whether there is any current chance for a lasting cessation of hostilities.

“Gaza has become an open graveyard not only for children but also for International Law, and the following consequences are devastating for the region and the values enshrined in the UN Charter: peace, justice, respect, and human rights,” Safadi said. 

He also warned of the expanding web of dehumanisation leading to humanitarian crises and stressed the importance of mobilising international support to end the war on Gaza and Israeli impunity.

Reaffirming Jordan’s firm stance against the war on Gaza, Safadi praised the UN’s commitment to uphold international law and save lives in Gaza amid an unfolding catastrophe.

Guterres said that a two-state solution is the only way to address the “legitimate” ambitions of Israelis and Palestinians.

“Jordan embodies the true meaning of ‘solidarity in action’,” the UN chief said, commending the Kingdom for its pivotal advocacy of UNRWA’s operations, unwavering support for the deescalation of hostilities, and efforts to ensure the delivery of aid and long-term improvement of the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Guterres also expressed concern about the decline in funding for Jordan’s refugee response plan and urged the international community to support Jordan, which hosts millions of refugees. He said, “Ramadan is meant to be a period of celebration, but not this year…hearts are heavy in the region and around the world…from the ongoing devastation in Gaza as well as in the West Bank.”

The UN Secretary-General reiterated his longstanding concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and emphasised the need to facilitate safe and full-scale aid, stressing the UN’s unwavering commitment to upholding humanitarian principles and fostering peace in the most challenging of circumstances.

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