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Selective Compassion

1 min

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, on Sunday, strongly criticized Israel for the tragic deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, condemning the situation as "heartbreaking" and emphasizing the need to support statehood for the Palestinian people.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres © Mena Today 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, on Sunday, strongly criticized Israel for the tragic deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, condemning the situation as "heartbreaking" and emphasizing the need to support statehood for the Palestinian people.

Guterres made these remarks during the opening of a summit of the G77+China in Kampala, Uganda.

He expressed his deep concern over the scale of civilian casualties resulting from Israel's military operations in Gaza, describing it as unprecedented during his time as secretary-general.

He urged for immediate actions to prevent the escalation of conflict in the volatile Middle East region, referring to it as a tinderbox that requires careful handling.

Israel's military offensive in Gaza was launched in response to the October 7 attack by the Islamist militant group Hamas.

More than 1,200 Israelis and foreigners were killed, with 240 taken hostage during the attack.

However, it is important to note that the figures provided by Gaza health authorities, stating that over 25,000 Palestinians have been killed and most of Gaza's 2.3 million residents displaced from their homes, remain unverified.

These figures are disputed, as they originate from Hamas, an organization known for manipulating information and failing to distinguish between civilians and militants.

While the Israeli military has expressed regret for civilian casualties, they accuse Hamas of operating within densely populated areas and using civilians as human shields—an allegation that the group denies.

Secretary-General Guterres attended the summits of the G77+China and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Kampala.

These meetings brought together leaders and senior officials from numerous countries, including South Africa, Iran, China, Turkey, Cuba, India, Vietnam, and others.

The G77+China represents a coalition of 134 developing countries, advocating for the common interests of nations from the global south.

A document released at the end of the NAM summit on Saturday included a strong condemnation of "the illegal Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip, the indiscriminate attacks against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects, and the forced displacement of the Palestinian population."

The document called for an immediate and lasting humanitarian ceasefire.

However, despite these condemnations and expressions of concern for Palestinian casualties, there has been a notable absence of compassion from Secretary-General Guterres and NAM members regarding the tragic events of October 7.

Guterres has consistently criticized Israel but remained relatively silent on the matter of the RSF paramilitaries' massacre of 15,000 Sudanese in Western Darfur.

Regarding the stance of non-aligned countries, their opposition to Israel has been a longstanding position that predates recent events.

This position reflects a historical pattern rather than a new development.

By Elias Biryabarema and Mena Today 

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