The head of the UN pushed for a full cease-fire Tuesday in the Gaza Strip and said a humanitarian pause between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, does not solve key problems.
"First of all, I'd like to say that the truce was a step in the right direction -- was a symbol of hope, but it doesn't solve the key problems we face," Antonio Guterres said at a news conference with Moussa Faki, chairperson of the African Union Commission.
"That is why we have been insisting on the need for a humanitarian cease-fire leading to the unconditional and immediate release of hostages and to the possibility to have effective humanitarian aid to all people in Gaza, wherever they live," he added.
When asked about his message to the Israeli government which said fighting will resume when the truce ends, Guterres said: "My message is very clear. We need a humanitarian cease-fire.
"We have a dramatic humanitarian situation. At the same time, we want to have the full release of all hostages that we believe should be unconditional and immediate, but we need a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, now," he said.
Qatar announced an agreement late Monday to extend an initial four-day humanitarian pause for an additional two days, under which more prisoner exchanges will be carried out.
Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.
It has since killed over 15,000 people, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.
The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.