The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, stated today that the killing of children in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas is “unprecedented” in any conflict since he assumed the General Secretariat of the organization.
Guterres answered a question from the press about whether the weekend attack on two schools of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) constituted war crimes.
The Portuguese said that it is not his responsibility to make this kind of assessment, but that if we only look at the number of minors killed during the conflict, children in Gaza die at a higher rate than in any other conflict.
Guterres pointed to the reports made by the UN about minors killed in conflicts during the year, which he had to present on several occasions, and said that, until now, the highest number corresponds to Afghanistan, where in 2018 more than 900 children were killed.
“Without entering into discussions about the accuracy of the figures published by the ‘de facto’ authorities in Gaza, what is clear is that in a few weeks we will have thousands of children” die, said the secretary general.
The Portuguese politician also reiterated his idea that a period of transition is needed once the Israeli offensive ends, managed by a coalition of countries that allow the Palestinian National Authority (which governs the occupied West Bank) to assume responsibility for the enclave.
He also said that in this period of transition, the best solution is not a UN “protectorate,” but an agreement between different countries that includes the United States, as the main guarantor of Israel’s security, and the Arab countries, as defenders of the Palestinians, with the ultimate goal of a solution between two states in the territory.