News ID : 169877
Publish Date : 4/10/2024 1:09:42 PM
UN chief says he is 'heartbroken' as Muslims in Gaza not able to celebrate Eid al-Fitr

UN chief says he is 'heartbroken' as Muslims in Gaza not able to celebrate Eid al-Fitr

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says his heart is "broken" as Muslims in the war-torn Gaza Strip and many others elsewhere cannot properly celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the conclusion of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

In a video message posted on X on Wednesday, the UN chief expressed his sorrow over the violence affecting Muslims in the besieged Palestinian territory, Sudan and elsewhere across the world.

"Every year, I express my best wishes for Eid al-Fitr to the Muslim community around the world. My heart is broken knowing that in Gaza, Sudan and many other places -- because of conflict and hunger -- so many Muslims will not be able to celebrate properly," Guterres said in his annual greeting for Eid al-Fitr.

Israel launched its atrocious onslaught on the Gaza Strip, targeting hospitals, residences, and houses of worship, after Palestinian resistance movements launched Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping regime on October 7 last year.

The occupying regime has so far killed over 33,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children. It has also blocked water, food, and electricity to Gaza, plunging the coastal strip into a humanitarian crisis.

UNRWA welcomes Eid with 'hearts filled with sadness'

Separately on Wednesday, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a statement that it welcomed the holiday with "hearts filled with sadness" over Israel's genocidal war against Muslims in the Gaza Strip.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees wished “a peaceful and blessed Eid al-Fitr” on social media, saying, “We welcome Eid al-Fitr with our hearts filled with sadness for what is happening in Gaza, the West Bank and across the region for those facing conflict, displacement and fear.”

Founded in 1949, the agency provides services for over six million Palestinian refugees living across the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. In Gaza, it is the primary UN agency delivering healthcare, and essential humanitarian support to the Palestinians trapped in the blockaded territory.

Many of the UNRWA's 13,000 staff are Palestinian.

Israel has repeatedly equated UNRWA staff with members of Hamas, claiming that the agency has links to the Palestinian resistance group without providing any proof of the allegations. Israel has also been lobbying hard to have UNRWA closed as it is the only UN agency to have a specific mandate to look after the basic needs of Palestinian refugees.

The allegations prompted more than 10 donor countries, including the United States, Germany, the European Union, Canada, and Japan, to suspend financial support. The funding from these countries used to make up the bulk of all funding received by the agency.

UN General Assembly president calls for 'solidarity' on Eid al-Fitr

Dennis Francis, president of the UN General Assembly, wished "solidarity" in his video message on the occasion of Eid on Wednesday. He also called for "compassion", acknowledging  that people in the Gaza Strip are dealing with "unimaginable challenges."

"My warmest #EidAlFitr greetings to the Muslim community worldwide. Let's embrace the true essence of Eid – a time for reflection, compassion, and unity. Let us extend our hand in friendship and solidarity, especially to our brothers and sisters affected by conflict, especially to the people in the Gaza Strip who are facing unimaginable challenges. I wish you and your loved ones all the blessings of Eid," he said.

The 193-member UNGA voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza back in December.

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