In the last few moments, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has held a brief news conference addressing the controversial comments he made yesterday.
He has been criticised by Israeli officials – with some calling for him to resign – after saying the deadly Hamas attack on the country “did not happen in a vacuum”, and that the Palestinian people had endured 56 years of “suffocating occupation”.
Discussing the comments, he told the briefing that he’d said:
- “the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas”;
- and that he then “went on” with his intervention about his position on “all aspects of the Middle East crisis”.
He added that he was “shocked” by the “misrepresentations” of his comments, saying it was portrayed as if he was “justifying acts of terror by Hamas”.
“This is false. It was the opposite,” he said.
“I believe it was necessary to set the record straight especially out of respect for the victims and their families.”
UK aid for people in Gaza has landed in Egypt
Aid sent by the UK for civilians in Gaza has arrived in Egypt, the foreign secretary has announced.
Sharing a photo of a plane alongside the news, James Cleverly said humanitarian aid must reach those “who need it most”.
He did not detail what supplies were included in the delivery, or when it would arrive in Gaza.
In recent days, Israel has allowed a small number of trucks filled with aid to cross the border with Egypt but barred deliveries of fuel – needed to power hospital generators – to keep it out of Hamas’s hands.