Guterres: Hamas violates the laws of war by using civilians as human shields

The violence committed by Hamas cannot in any way justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said today.

At a meeting of the Security Council of the world organization, he again called for a "humanitarian ceasefire". He made his appeal ahead of a vote expected today on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

-Hamas' indiscriminate rocket fire on Israel and the use of civilians as human shields violate the laws of war, but such actions do not absolve Israel from its own obligations, Guterres stressed.

Today, the UN Security Council is expected to make a statement on the draft resolution demanding a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons.

The vote was delayed for several hours pending a meeting between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the foreign ministers of several Arab countries and Turkey.

Anthony Blinken, meanwhile, met with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and discussed coordinating efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and the importance of preventing the conflict from spreading beyond the Gaza Strip.

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