War in the Middle East. The evolution of the conflict between Israel and Hamas up to the minute

“We called on the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] When that connection happens, it will happen,” Dujarric said, adding that it would not prevent the UN from “maintaining operational relations with Israel.”

The only contact Guterres had with non-executive Israeli President Isaac Herzog has so far been made public. To Herzog, Guterres urged him to “respect international law, protect civilians and protect UN facilities,” the spokesman said, referring to schools that shelter refugees.

Dujarric insisted that Guterres “says in private what he says in public” about the plight of civilians.

The spokesman was also asked why Guterres did not visit Israel on his last trip to the region – he went to the Rafah border between Cairo and Egypt and Gaza – to which he replied: “The Secretary-General always takes into account. Your presence is very useful.”

Israel has always been a vocal critic of UN agencies in general, and last week, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, told a pro-Israel demonstration in New York that Guterres, visiting the Rafah crossing, “sent a pro-terrorist message.”

An October 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli territory killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took 222 hostages, prompting a strong Israeli response.

Today, the Israeli army and Palestinian militants are in the 17th day of war, with relentless airstrikes by Israeli forces and the firing of projectiles at Israel by Palestinian militants.

In the Gaza Strip, more than 5,000 people have died, including more than 2,000 children, more than 1,100 women and 217 elderly people, according to local officials.

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At today’s press conference, a spokesperson admitted that the United Nations Agency for the Palestinians (UNRWA, the largest aid organization operating in Gaza) has yet to introduce a single liter of fuel into the Strip.

UNRWA has repeatedly said it needs the fuel to run generators that keep hospitals running in Gaza, after the Israeli government cut electricity supplies to the entire territory.

Meanwhile, at least 35 UNRWA workers have been killed by Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of war between the Islamist group Hamas and Israel on October 7, the organization said in a statement today.

Likewise, it pointed out that 40 of its facilities – two of them in the last 24 hours – have been damaged since the war began.

UNRWA also reported that nearly 600,000 internally displaced people have taken shelter in the agency’s 150 facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Thus, the number of internally displaced persons increased by 14,000 or 3.5% in the last 24 hours.

The UN General Assembly will meet on Thursday to discuss the war sparked by Hamas attacks on Israeli soil, the organization’s head announced in a letter to member states today.

Although the Security Council did not agree on a resolution on the war, several countries on behalf of the Arab bloc, including Jordan, Russia, Syria, Bangladesh, and Vietnam and Cambodia, formally requested Assembly Speaker Dennis Francis to schedule the meeting.

The Security Council will meet on Tuesday to discuss the matter before the Assembly convenes on Thursday morning. A long-planned meeting expected some foreign ministers, including Israel’s Eli Cohen.

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