Protection of civilians is paramount: UN chief amid Israel-Hamas conflict

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday said that the protection of civilians is “paramount” and added that the laws of war establish clear rules to protect the life of humans and respect humanitarian concerns.


Taking to X, Guterres stated, “The protection of civilians is paramount. The Laws of War establish clear rules to protect human life and respect humanitarian concerns. Those laws cannot be contorted for the sake of expedience.”


Guterres, who is in Nepal on a four-day visit, offered condolences to the families of the 10 Nepali students killed in Hamas attacks on Israel. He wished for the safe return of Bipin Joshi, a Nepali citizen who is missing. He called for “immediate and unconditional release” of all hostages in Gaza.


In a post shared on X, Antonio Guterres stated, “I thank the government of Nepal for inviting me to the country. I offer my condolences to the families of the 10 Nepali students killed in the terror attacks by Hamas in Israel & my best wishes for the safe return of Bipin Joshi, a Nepali citizen who is missing.”


He further added, “From Nepal, I will continue to insist on the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages in Gaza. There is no justification, ever, for the killing, injuring and abducting of civilians.”


According to the latest updates in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Israel’s ground forces continue to operate in the northern section of the Gaza Strip, killing Hamas terrorists and destroying the facilities of the terror group, The Times of Israel reported citing Israel Defence Forces.


According to the IDF, troops killed a number of Hamas gunmen who opened fire on ground forces in Gaza, as well as other terrorists identified on a beach in Gaza near the southern Israeli village of Zikim. Ground soldiers, including tanks, hit anti-tank guided missile positions, observation posts, and other Hamas infrastructure, The Times of Israel reported, citing the Israeli Defence Forces.


“The forces also directed the Air Force to carry out strikes against buildings used by the terror group,” the IDF added. The IDF has also released a video depicting forces operating in Gaza today, as well as some of the most recent attacks on the territory.


Taking to social media platform X, the IDF posted a video and wrote, “As we continue to expand our ground operations in northern Gaza: IAF aircraft, guided by IDF troops, struck Hamas structures. Anti-tank missile launch posts & observation posts were struck. Multiple terrorists were eliminated.”


Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has re-issued urgent calls for civilians in Gaza to relocate to the south as the ground forces move to the next phase of its war with the terrorist group Hamas.


“The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is expanding its operations. We are moving to the next phase of our war against Hamas in Gaza, from the air, land, and sea. On October 7, Hamas committed a crime against humanity. Israel is in a war, it did not start, and it did not sink. Hamas is attacking Israeli civilians while firing from among dozens civilians. These are both war crimes. Our fight is with Hamas. Not with the people of Gaza,” IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a video posted to the IDF’s profile on ‘X’.


“Civilians in northern Gaza and Gaza City should temporarily move south of Wadi Gaza to a safer area where they can receive water, food and medicine. Tomorrow, the humanitarian efforts to Gaza led by Egypt in the United States will be expanding,” he added.


The IDF spokesperson said Hamas was using Gazans as human shields amid the ongoing offensive. “Hamas operated inside and under civilian buildings, precisely because they know the IDF distinguishes between terrorists and civilians,” he said.


Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that multiple terrorists were eliminated as forces continue to expand ground operations in northern Gaza.


“As we continue to expand our ground operations in northern Gaza: IAF aircraft, guided by IDF troops, struck Hamas structures. Anti-tank missile launch posts & observation posts were struck. Multiple terrorists were eliminated,” IDF posted on X.


Recently, an Air Force aircraft attacked a terrorist cell that was identified in the Mount Dov region, which launched missions towards Israeli territory on Sunday, according to Israel Air Force.


Taking to X, Israel Air Force stated, “An Air Force aircraft recently attacked a terrorist cell that was identified in the Mount Dov region, which launched missions towards Israeli territory earlier today. In the attack, many weapons were also destroyed with which the terrorists planned to carry out additional launches towards Israeli territory.”


Earlier on Saturday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the second stage of the war against Hamas started with the entrance of more ground forces into Gaza on Friday night, The Times of Israel reported.


He said Israel’s goal is to “defeat the murderous enemy and to ensure our existence in our land”. His statement came on the heels of the Israel Defence Forces chief informing that the military was carrying out ground operations in the Gaza Strip, The Times of Israel reported.


Netanyahu said the soldiers are part of a legacy of Jewish warriors going back 3000 years. Addressing a press conference in Tel Aviv, he stressed that Israel’s objectives amid the ongoing conflict are clear — “destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities; and returning the hostages home.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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