UN chief rings alarm bell on global security threat from Gaza war

In rare move Guterres evokes section 99 of UN charter to hold a Security Council session calling for a cease-fire in Gaza; Erdan says Sec. Gen. call seeks to keep Hamas rule over Gaza and would prolong war
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a rare move on Wednesday to formally warn the Security Council of a global threat from the Gaza war as Arab states seek to leverage that to renew a push for the council to call for a cease-fire.
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Guterre evoked section 99 of the UN charter which states: "The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security." The article has not been used for decades, U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
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אנטוניו גוטרש
אנטוניו גוטרש
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
(Photo: Mahmoud Khaled / Getty Images)
"We are facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system. The situation is fast deteriorating into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region," Guterres wrote. "Such an outcome must be avoided at all cost," he said, again calling for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared. The security Council will meet on Friday morning.
Officials in Israel said the secretary general's move is likely coordinated with Arab groups that he met with in recent days.
Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour on Wednesday said Arab diplomats were "fine-tuning" a draft Security Council resolution to call for a cease-fire. A resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Russia, China, France or Britain. Mansour said Arab ministers were due to visit Washington on Thursday and would discuss the measure with U.S. officials.
At the same time Russia and the UAE have also asked for the Security Council to meet it a move to pressure the U.S. to bringing a cease-fire into effect.
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גלעד ארדן באו"ם
גלעד ארדן באו"ם
Gilad Erdan
(Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images/AFP)
Israel's ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan criticized Guterres's call claiming it was in fact a support for the continued rule of Hamas over the Gaza Strip and is immoral. He said it was Hamas that should be called to lay down its arms and return the hostages, but the Sec. Gen chose to pressure Israel rather then the terror group. Erdan also said Guterres did not evoke the same section over the Russian invasion of Ukraine but chose to do so when Israel was fighting the terrorist organization.
"The secretary has reached a new moral low," Erdan said. "He boasts that he is evoking section 99 for the first time and does so to pressure Israel that is fighting the Nazi Hamas terrorists. This is more proof of his moral distortion and his anti-Israel slant," he said adding that this would only prolong the war.
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