UN chief Guterres urges Israel to stop Rafah offensive immediately

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has demanded Israel immediately cease attacks on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Guterres spoke in an exclusive interview with NHK in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday.

Guterres said that because of the way Israel's attacks in Gaza are being carried out, civilian casualties and the destruction of infrastructure and housing are "unprecedented" during his tenure as secretary-general. He added that the levels of destruction are unacceptable.

Guterres also talked about a recent provisional order by the International Court of Justice for Israel to immediately halt the offensive in Rafah.

Guterres said, "The message is simple. Abide by the decisions of the International Court of Justice. We are in a world where we must make sure that international law prevails, international humanitarian law prevails, the rule of law prevails and decisions of courts, universal courts are respected because they are binding." He said, "This is not an opinion. This is a decision that is binding, Israel must abide by the decision."

He called on other parties around the world to do everything to allow the release of hostages taken by Hamas, stop the destruction and killing of civilians and "create the basis for a two state solution to be implemented." The solution refers to Israel's coexistence with a future Palestinian state.