Science

U.N. Chief Calls Conditions in Gaza a ‘Moral Outrage’

António Guterres, the U.N. secretary general, reiterated his call on Saturday for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, using a visit to a border crossing in Egypt to slam the “nonstop nightmare” Palestinians faced in the territory.

“I want Palestinians in Gaza to know: You are not alone,” Mr. Guterres said. “People around the world are outraged about the horrors we are all witnessing in real time. I carry the voices of the vast majority of the world: We have seen enough. We have heard enough.”

Mr. Guterres spoke to reporters from the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, one of the two main ground corridors being used to transport desperately needed humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. More than five months into Israel’s war against Hamas, Palestinians in Gaza are facing widespread hunger and deprivation despite a huge international relief effort.

For months, aid organizations have struggled to transport and distribute sufficient food and other supplies in Gaza, which faces a blockade that is jointly enforced by Egypt and Israel.

U.N. officials have said the obstacles include lengthy Israeli security inspections, attacks on aid convoys by desperate Palestinians and organized gangs, and roads badly damaged by months of airstrikes and fighting. Israel has blamed the delays on U.N. staffing and logistics and says it does not impose limits on the amount of aid that can enter Gaza.

The worsening conditions this week led the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, a global authority that has classified food security crises for decades, to project that famine was “imminent” for the 300,000 Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza. Aid groups and U.N. officials have argued that it would be better for Israel to ease entry restrictions for trucks at established crossing points into the enclave and to do more to speed the delivery of goods inside Gaza.

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