Iraq commends U.N. Secretary-General's call for urgent action on Gaza crisis

Iraq commends U.N. Secretary-General's call for urgent action on Gaza crisis

Shafaq News/ On Thursday, the Iraqi cabinet welcomed the standpoint of the U.N.'s secretary-general Antonio Guterres about the situation in Gaza and invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter.

According to Article 99 of the U.N. charter, the secretary-general can " bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."

Bassem Al-Awadi, the Iraqi government spokesman, affirmed that the Iraqi cabinet supports what Guterres expressed, "what has been happening in Gaza for several weeks represents a threat to international peace."

In addition, al-Awadi asserted, "We confirm in Iraq that the catastrophes from (Israeli) aggression require immediate worldwide intervention to stop it...From the beginning, we warned about the need for a unity of all responsible international forces."

The Iraqi spokesman emphasized that "one cannot equate the victim (Palestinians) with the killer (Israel)," taking into account that all that happened in Gaza – since October 7 - was a result of "the pile of oppression, usurping of (Palestinian) rights, and the ongoing violations in the Palestinian territories."

On Wednesday, the U.N. Secretary sent an unprecedented letter to the Security Council presidency invoking Article 99 of the United Nations Charter.

He said that the Israeli "hostilities have created appalling human suffering, physical destruction, and collective trauma across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory."

Guterres listed that since the start of Israel's military operation, more than 15,000 people have reportedly been killed, over 40 percent of whom were children. Thousands of others have been injured. More than half of all homes have been destroyed. Some 80 percent of the population of 2.2 million has been forcibly displaced into increasingly smaller areas. More than 1.1 million people have sought refuge in UNRWA facilities across Gaza, "creating overcrowded, undignified, and unhygienic conditions."

He pointed out that only 14 out of 36 facilities are partially functional in Gaza.

"While delivery of supplies through Rafah continues, quantities are insufficient and have dropped since the pause came to an end. We are simply unable to reach those in need inside Gaza."

Guterres called on the international community to bear responsibility and use "all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis."

Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eli Cohen, said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's tenure threatens world peace.

"Guterres's tenure is a danger to world peace. His request to activate Article 99 and a call for a cease-fire in Gaza, constitutes support for the terrorist organization Hamas, and an inspiration for the murder of the elderly, the kidnapping of babies, and the rape of women. Those who support world peace must support the liberation of Gaza from Hamas." Cohen wrote on X.

Notably, if the U.N. Security Council considered Guterres's recommendation, the resolution could grant the council specific enforcement capabilities, such as imposing sanctions or authorizing the deployment of an international force to ensure compliance. However, these measures are constrained by the five veto powers that held the Council: China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.

On October 18, the U.S. used its right in the Council by vetoing a resolution on October 18 that condemned Hamas's attack on Israel and called for a pause in the fighting for humanitarian assistance in Gaza. The resolution had 12 in favor, while Russia and the U.K. abstained.

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