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UN Secretary-General Expresses Horror Over Ambulance Convoy Strike in Gaza




NEW YORK - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed deep dismay over the recent airstrike on a convoy of ambulances near Gaza City's Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip. The strike, which occurred on Friday, resulted in the tragic loss of at least 15 lives and left 50 others injured, as reported by Hamas-run health authorities.


In a statement issued by the United Nations, Secretary-General Guterres described his reaction to the attack as "horrified" and conveyed his strong condemnation of the incident. He remarked, "I am horrified by the reported attack in Gaza on an ambulance convoy outside Al-Shifa hospital." Guterres went on to express the deep emotional impact of the event, stating, "The images of bodies strewn on the street outside the hospital are harrowing."


However, even in the midst of these strong sentiments, Guterres underlined the need to address the broader context of the situation. He emphasized that he has not forgotten the "terror attacks" conducted by Hamas in Israel, which have resulted in "the killing, maiming, and abductions, including of women and children." As a result, he reiterated his previous calls for the unconditional release of all hostages held in Gaza.


Furthermore, Guterres called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza. He highlighted the dire circumstances that have afflicted the civilian population, especially over the past month, saying, "Now, for nearly one month, civilians in Gaza, including children and women, have been besieged, denied aid, killed, and bombed out of their homes. This must stop."


The Secretary-General also pointed to the severe humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region, which he described as "horrific." He noted that essential supplies such as food, water, and medicine are in critically short supply, while fuel required to operate hospitals and water plants is running dangerously low.


The attack on the ambulance convoy outside Al-Shifa Hospital has elicited widespread concern and condemnation from various quarters. Israel has admitted responsibility for the strike, asserting that it was targeting an ambulance allegedly being used by Hamas. It is noteworthy that the hospital has been a focal point of contention, with Israel recently claiming it to be a significant Hamas command and control center. Palestinian officials, on the other hand, have vehemently denied these allegations, reiterating that the hospital's primary function is the treatment of patients and not military activities.


The situation in Gaza remains highly complex, with the Secretary-General's statement reflecting the urgency of finding a resolution that ensures the protection of civilians and addresses the dire humanitarian needs of the population in the midst of ongoing hostilities.

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