UN refugee chief calls for open borders for Gaza civilians
Related countries should keep their borders open for civilians who may be compelled to flee the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations' top refugee official said on Monday.
"Those who are compelled to flee the Gaza Strip should be able to do so and to find safety and security in other countries according to international law," said Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR).
"I thus urge that all borders and access routes concerned should be kept open and safe, and Palestinians endeavoring to leave Gaza should not be prevented from doing so," Guterres said in a statement.
Guterres also called for the facilitation of humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, reported Xinhua .
"It is absolutely imperative that the immediate delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilian victims of this conflict be facilitated, including access from Egypt and Israel," he said.
The high commissioner also expressed grave concern over the conflict's toll on civilians and urged an immediate cessation of violence.
"The heavy casualties suffered by innocent civilians, including many children, are heartbreaking," he said.
"I join (UN) Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in calling for an immediate cessation of all violence," he added.