UN chief urges "immediate" ceasefire in Gaza

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council that a humanitarian ceasefire would facilitate hostage releases, allow aid and "ease epic suffering"

At a meeting of the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an "immediate" ceasefire in Gaza for humanitarian reasons (photo: DW)
At a meeting of the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an "immediate" ceasefire in Gaza for humanitarian reasons (photo: DW)


  • The UN Security Council is meeting in New York

  • Two more hostages have been transported out of Gaza

  • US welcomes release of Israeli hostages

  • French president Emmanuel Macron met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and president Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem

  • One of the freed hostages has recounted her experience after "going through hell"

"Deeply concerned" about violations in Gaza

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in remarks to the UN Security Council, said on Tuesday, 24 October, that he was "deeply concerned about the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza".

"Let me be clear: No party to an armed conflict is above international humanitarian law," Guterres added.

Guterres also urged sending more humanitarian aid into Gaza. The UN has said 54 aid trucks have entered Gaza via the Rafah Crossing from Egypt since Saturday, 21 October.

He described currently humanitarian shipments into Gaza as "a drop of aid in an ocean of need." He also noted that UN fuel supplies will run out in days, triggering "another disaster."

"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 cease-fire," Guterres said.

The US, along with Israel, have previously rebuked pleas for a cease-fire. Israel has wanted to press forward with its military operations against Hamas, after Hamas carried out a terror attack on Israel on October 7.

Israel drops leaflets on Gaza asking for info on hostages

Israel on Tuesday dropped leaflets across the Gaza Strip, asking Gazans to give information about hostages in exchange for a reward.

"If your will is to live in peace and have a better future for your children, do your humanitarian deed immediately and share verified and valuable information about hostages being held in your area," the leaflets said in Arabic.

"The Israeli military assures you that it will invest maximum effort in providing security for you and your home, and you will receive a financial reward. We guarantee you complete confidentiality," the papers added, while providing phone numbers for Gazans to call for tip-off information.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the dropping of the leaflets on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Earlier leaflets dropped by Israel have asked for Gazans to move to the southern part of the Gaza Strip amid Israeli military operations against Hamas.

UN issues dire warnings on Gaza humanitarian crisis

The UN on Tuesday issued fresh warnings regarding Gaza's humanitarian crisis, as Israel restricts food, electricity and fuel into the Gaza Strip.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said 46 out of 72 healthcare facilities have gone out of operation across Gaza. The facilities are not only impacted by a lack of electricity and fuel, but also Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

Gaza has a population of some 2.2 million people.

WHO regional director Rick Brennan also detailed the precarious water shortage Gaza is facing. Brennan said there are only 3 litres of water per person per day.

He said many Gazans are no longer getting a proper shower or bath and warned of the spread of disease.

The UN said 54 trucks with aid have entered Gaza since Saturday, but said it was not enough.

Israel has ramped up military operations against Hamas since October 7, when Hamas carried out terror attacks on Israel. Those attacks left more than 1,400 people dead in Israel, with Hamas also taking more than 200 people hostage.

Hamas, which rules over the Gaza Strip, is considered a terrorist organisation not only by Israel, but also the US, Germany, EU and others.

Macron calls for international coalition to defeat Hamas

France and Israel share terrorism as their "common enemy", French president Emmanuel Macron said at a joint news conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"You are not alone," said Macron after a meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Macron called for countries that fought against the so-called Islamic State terror group to fight Hamas terrorists, saying he proposes the "coalition against 'Islamic State' also fight Hamas".

Hamas is considered a terrorist group by the EU, the US, Israel and others.

Netanyahu stressed that the Israeli military would destroy Hamas and that Israelis would not live "under Hamas tyranny".

Macron in his statement to the press also emphasised that there ought to be a "decisive relaunch" of the Palestinian peace process: "Stability of the Middle East will only be possible if Israel also allows for a political approach to the conflict with Palestinians."

He warned Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and its main backer, Iran, not to take the "risk of regional escalation."

France stands in solidarity with Israel's fight against Hamas terror: Macron

France will stand in solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism, President Emmanuel Macron said as he met with Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem.

"What happened will never be forgotten," Macron said, referring to the October 7 terror attacks by the Islamist militant group Hamas on Israeli soil. "I am here to express our solidarity," Macron continued. He added the "first objective now should be the release of all hostages, without distinction".

Macron arrived in Tel Aviv early Tuesday and met with Israeli-French nationals who lost loved ones in the Hamas attacks of October 7, as well as families of hostages held by Hamas, at the Ben Gurion airport.

Macron was expected to meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas later in the day, according to the Palestinian Authority. The Elysee Palace was yet to confirm the meeting at the time of filing this report.

Some 30 French citizens were among the 1,400 people killed during the Hamas attacks, while another seven are believed to be among the more than 200 people being held captive in Gaza.

Witnesses recounts Hamas attack in Be'eri on October 7

On October 7, Kibbutz Be'eri was one of the first Israeli communities that faced a Hamas attack.

Over two weeks later, dozens of residents are still unaccounted for, and authorities have not yet identified all the bodies. Emergency defenders recount the story of how Hamas terrorists went door to door to kill people.

DW's Max Zander visited the kibbutz as part of an organised press tour.

Freed Israeli hostage says she "went through hell"

Yocheved Lifschitz spoke to reporters about her abduction by the Hamas militant group.

Lifschitz's daughter helped recount her ordeal to reporters. The 85-year-old was released late last night by the Hamas terrorist group after being held captive for more than two weeks.

The "story is not over until everybody comes back," she said, calling for all hostages to be released.

Lifschitz's husband is still among the Hamas hostages. Israeli authorities said 220 captives are still being held in Gaza.

She said Hamas brought her into Gaza on a motorbike, with the ride leading to bruises. She was hit with sticks. She said she went through hell and that she struggled to breathe.

But she added that the militants did not hurt her while she was being held captive. Everyone shared the same food, and she had a doctor visit her in captivity.

The militants had prepared this for a long time, she said, adding that hygiene was taken care of.

Lifschitz criticised the Israeli military for not taking security concerns seriously enough before Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people.

Hostages released doing okay

The two Israeli women, aged 79 and 85, who were released by Hamas militants after being held captive by the group for more than two weeks, are doing relatively well, according to the Israeli medical team.

The women were transferred to Egypt and handed to Israeli authorities. They were then taken immediately to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

Eti Uziel, the chief nurse at the centre, told DW that their "medical condition looked okay".

The women were speaking with medical staff and had already seen their family members.

Hamas is still holding the women's husbands captive.

Rebecca Ritters, DW correspondent in Jerusalem, reported that one of the women released was a peace activist who had often helped Gazans.

It's impossible to tell whether that could be the reason behind her release, Ritters said, but the woman was seen shaking the hand of one of the Hamas militants before she was returned to humanitarian workers.

Gaza humanitarian situation "more critical by the hour": CARE country director

The humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip is becoming "more and more critical by the hour," said Hiba Tibi, country director for CARE in the Palestinian Territories.

Speaking to DW on Tuesday, Tibi said humanitarian workers in the blockaded enclave are counting the hours until the medical system goes out of service.

"As you can see in this image, we have been able to secure necessities for immediate requirements that are needed for survival and life saving, and this includes water and food," said Tibi, whose organisation is among those facilitating the entry of aid trucks into Gaza.

Tibi addressed the shortage of fuel, an item not part of the aid allowed into the strip, out of fear that it would fall into the hands of militants. She said the minimal amount of fuel allowed into the strip for UN facilities had been restricted to those in the south and those benefiting from UN shelters.

"But there are many actors, many people who are civilians in the north and centre who are not accessing the designated shelters by the UN," Tibi said.

She also pointed to the shortage of clean drinking water, which has left people turning to contaminated water.

"We started to see signs of diseases, water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, rash, even other diseases that are becoming more and more risky at the top of each hour," Tibi said.

World Bank president says it's no more business as usual

Ajay Banga, president of the World Bank, said the world was in a more dangerous place and that the Israel–Palestine conflict was a "serious" threat to economic development.

Banga was speaking to reporters at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

"There is so much going on in the world and geopolitics in the wars that you're seeing and what just happened recently in Israel and Gaza," he said. "At the end of the day, when you put all this together, I think the impact on economic development is even more serious," he added.

Israel says more than 400 Hamas targets struck

Meanwhile, Israel has amassed tanks and weapons at the border with Gaza as it prepares for an anticipated ground invasion to stamp out Hamas militants.

The US, according to media reports, has been pressing the government to delay the anticipated ground invasion as it carries out negotiations to free the 220 hostages still held captive.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed to have struck more than 400 "Hamas terror targets" overnight into Tuesday in a post on Telegram. The IDF said their strikes killed "several Hamas commanders and numerous operatives preparing attacks".

Separately, Hamas said on Tuesday that more than 140 people had been killed in airstrikes, according to the French news agency AFP.

Neither report could be verified independently.

Social media platforms fail to keep disinformation in check

Social media platforms are not fully equipped to bear the responsibility of content moderation amid the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas, said Caitlin Chin-Rothmann, an expert on technology and policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

She told DW that social media platforms are being flooded with information — and disinformation — and the platforms don't have the resources to check the large amount of content. Much information about the Israel–Palestine conflict is also in languages other than English.

"Platforms are in a very difficult position partly due to the very, very large volume of information that's flowing but also due to the fact that platforms are making real-time decisions in very short periods of time," she said.

She explained that platforms are not operating with all the information they need, so it's impossible for them to verify circulating claims. Social media companies are facing "both technical and normative challenges."

The European Union has demanded social media platforms, like Meta, TikTok, and X, formerly known as Twitter, to detail their efforts to curb disinformation during the Israel-Hamas war.

However, both Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also use alternative platforms such as Telegram, which is more popular outside the US and Western Europe but does very little content moderation.

Biden and Netanyahu discuss hostages, aid and security

French president Emmanuel Macron's visit to Israel comes after those of German chancellor Olaf Scholz and US president Joe Biden.

Biden also got on a call with Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, 23 October, the White House said.

Biden "welcomed the release of two additional hostages from Gaza earlier" and reaffirmed his commitment to freeing the remaining hostages taken by the militant group Hamas, which the US has designated as a terrorist group.

The US president also underscored the need to sustain "a continuous flow" of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, the White House said.

During the phone call, Biden also updated Netanyahu on "US support for Israel and ongoing efforts at regional deterrence, to include new US military deployments".

This story was edited and abridged from a longer article originally published by DW

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