War in the Middle East, Netanyahu-Putin phone call. Guterres (UN): “In Gaza we are heading towards catastrophe”


By John

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left a government cabinet meeting for a 50-minute telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu’s office made this known.

“We are running a serious risk of collapse of the humanitarian system” in Gaza, where “the situation is rapidly turning into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for the Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region”: he said today the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, speaking at the Doha Forum, Qatar. Guterres also deplored the “paralysis” of the United Nations in the face of the war between Israel and Hamas, saying he was sorry that the Security Council did not vote in favor of a ceasefire.

Guterres said the Security Council was “paralyzed by geostrategic divisions”, compromising its ability to find solutions to the war. “The authority and credibility of the Security Council have been seriously undermined” by its belated response to the conflict, a blow to its reputation compounded by the United States’ veto on Friday of a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The draft resolution was prepared after the UN Secretary General’s unprecedented invocation of Article 99 of the United Nations Charter, according to which the Secretary General may bring to the attention of the Security Council “any matter which , in his opinion, could threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”. “I reiterated my call to declare a humanitarian ceasefire… unfortunately the Security Council did not do so,” Guterres regretted. “I can promise I won’t give up,” he added.