In a 15-page report addressed to the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has exposed the catastrophic impact of the ongoing war in Gaza and the violence in the occupied West Bank. The UN report sheds light on the horrifying toll on civilians, the destruction of critical infrastructure, and the troubling developments on the ground.

Guterres describes the military campaign’s magnitude as “unprecedented and unbearable,” emphasising the extensive death and destruction in Gaza.

Guterres also condemns Israeli air strikes that have hit protected individuals, including journalists, healthcare workers, and humanitarian personnel. Civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and UN facilities, has not been spared in the attacks.

The report reveals that Israel persists in illegal settlement-building in the occupied West Bank, with 1,500 cases of housing permits approved on Palestinian land between September and December. Guterres calls attention to the ongoing violation of international law.

The Secretary-General concludes by urgently calling for an immediate ceasefire, emphasising the need for diplomatic solutions to end the bloodshed.

Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme reported that half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population faces starvation amid the military assault.

UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini expresses the difficulties in delivering aid as hungry crowds in Gaza intercept aid trucks.

At least 12 people are reported dead in strikes on a UN school in Khan Younis.

Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since 7 October have now reached 18,787, most of whom are women and children, while over 50,000 Palestinians have been wounded. Communication services in Gaza are disrupted again, hampering rescue efforts.

Israeli Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu called for a full occupation of Gaza after the war. Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant stated that the military needs “more than a few months” to defeat Hamas, suggesting a prolonged conflict.