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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


WATCH: ‘Gaza becoming a graveyard for children’ − António Guterres

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused urgent requests for a ceasefire.


The United Nations (UN) secretary-general António Guterres has stressed the need for a humanitarian ceasefire is becoming more urgent with every passing hour.

Guterres was addressing the media after officials in Gaza confirmed the death toll from Israel relentless attacks has now reached over 10 000, many of whom are women and children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The attack came after Hamas launched a surprise attack on 7 October leaving 1 400 people, mostly civilians dead according to Israeli officials.

Watch United Nations secretary-general António Guterres addressing the media

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of severe criticism and protests against him refused requests for a ceasefire or humanitarian pause, adamant that his army will strike Gaza until the enclave is obliterated of Hamas.

ALSO READ: Cabinet calls on Dirco to act against Israeli ambassador to SA

Graveyard

Guterres said the world should be concerned that more innocent people are being killed in the Israel’s attack.

“Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of boys and girls are reportedly being killed or injured every day. More journalists have been reportedly killed over a four-week period than in any conflict.

“More UN aid workers have been killed in any comparable period in the history of our organisation. I join in the mourning of 89 of our UNRWA colleagues who have been killed in Gaza – many of them with members of their family,” said Guterres.

Guterres said the way forward is clear.

“All parties respecting all their obligations under international humanitarian law now. This means the unconditional release of the hostages in Gaza now. The protection of civilians, hospitals, UN facilities, shelters and schools now.”

Israel’s ambassador to South Africa

On Monday, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni called on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) to act against Israel’s ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky.

Cabinet has given its strongest indication that it might be deliberating the removal of Belotserkovsky with Ntshavheni describing his presence in the country as “untenable”.

“The disparaging remarks against those speaking up against the atrocities and the country’s leaders make ambassador Belotserkovsky’s position more and more untenable. As such, Cabinet has instructed Dirco to take necessary measures within the diplomatic challenges and protocols to deal with the conduct of the ambassador of Israel to South Africa.

“We leave it to Dirco to decide what will be done with the ambassador. He is a guest in our country and must conduct himself as a guest, and he has no right,” she said.

ALSO READ: Dirco calls on Israel to cease ‘genocidal campaign against Palestinians’

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