UN chief Guterres calls for Gaza truce to be extended into full ceasefire

Antonio Guterres's comments come as Qatar announces truce has been extended by two days

Palestinians sit next to a fire in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Reuters
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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for the truce in Gaza to be extended into a "full humanitarian ceasefire" between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“The dialogue that led to the agreement must continue, resulting in a full humanitarian ceasefire, for the benefit of the people of Gaza, Israel and the wider region,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

He warned the humanitarian “catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day” and said the scaled-up delivery of humanitarian aid to the northern enclave over the past four days “barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people".

His comments came right before Qatar's Foreign Ministry announced that negotiators had reached an agreement to extend the truce, which expires on Monday, by two days.

Intensive talks involving Qatar as one of the main mediators, Egypt, the US and Israel had been pushing to secure more exchanges of Israeli hostages in Gaza and Palestinian detainees in Israel.

In the statement, Mr Dujarric called for the remaining hostages being held in Gaza to be released “immediately and unconditionally”.

He urged the international community to “use their influence” to end the Israel-Gaza conflict and “support irreversible steps towards the only sustainable future for the region: a two-state solution”.

The 15-member UN Security Council will convene for a private session later on Monday to deliberate on the hostage deal and the humanitarian ceasefire.

Qatar and Egypt will also be participating.

Updated: November 28, 2023, 6:44 AM