Vatican's Archbishop Caccia and UN's António Guterres Call for 2-State Solution, Ceasefire, and Flow of Humanitarian Aid to Gaza at United Nations Security Council

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council in New York on the war ravaging the Holy Land, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, urges Israeli and Palestinian authorities to show courage for peace by agreeing to work for the two-state solution.

ARCHBISHOP GABRIELE CACCIA, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, citing Pope Francis, said: “Terrorism and extremism fuel hatred, violence and revenge and only cause mutual suffering.” He also reiterated the call of Pope Francis for the immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza, stressing that the right to self-defense in every conflict must comply with international law and the principle of proportionality. Expressing concern about the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, he emphasized that the total siege imposed on that territory has caused indiscriminate suffering. In this regard, he called for enabling humanitarian corridors to ensure that aid can reach the Palestinian people. “While the path of dialogue appears narrow at present, it is the only viable option for a lasting end to the cycle of violence that has engulfed that land, so dear to Christians, Jews and Muslims,” he emphasized.
The situation in the Middle East grows more dire by the hour, with the war in Gaza raging and risking spiralling throughout the region, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned the Security Council today, calling for humanitarian aid without restrictions and an immediate ceasefire.

“At a crucial moment like this, it is vital to be clear on principles — starting with the fundamental principle of respecting and protecting civilians,” Secretary-General Guterres said, during a day-long ministerial debate on the Palestinian question, amid an escalation of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians — or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.”
(VIDEO below from the United Nations Aid Agency in Gaza)

Recalling his unequivocal condemnation of the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel, he called for the immediate release of the hostages. As well, he stressed the need for humanitarian aid to be delivered without restrictions, adding: “To ease epic suffering, make the delivery of aid easier and safer, and facilitate the release of hostages, I reiterate my appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”
The attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum, he noted, with the Palestinian people being subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation, during which they saw their land devoured by settlements; their economy stifled; their homes demolished; and their hopes for a political solution vanishing. However, the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas. “And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” he said, emphasizing: “Even war has rules.” At this critical hour, he appealed to everyone to pull back from the brink before the violence claims even more lives and spreads even farther.
More than 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals were killed, and 220 civilians, including women and children, as well as soldiers, were taken into Gaza as hostages. On that day, Israel’s Security Cabinet declared a state of war, with its forces commencing a massive bombardment of what they said were Hamas sites throughout Gaza, targeting some 5,000 locations. On 8 October, Israel’s Minister for Defense announced a complete siege of Gaza, blocking all entry of goods, including electricity, water, food and fuel.
He outlined the devastating impact of Israel’s ongoing air strikes, with Gaza’s Ministry of Health reporting more than 5,000 Palestinians killed, including over 1,100 women and 2,000 children, as well as journalists, medical workers and first responders. One million Palestinians have been displaced, with entire neighbourhoods reduced to rubble and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) schools and hospitals — many sheltering displaced Palestinians — having been hit. Warning of a significant risk of a regional spillover with the already worrying violence in the occupied West Bank having increased since the outbreak of war, he stressed the need to advance a negotiated peace that fulfils the long-held vision of two States, in line with UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements.