The World Health Organization (WHO) has voiced strong support for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who took an unprecedented step during his tenure.
Earlier on Wednesday, Guterres warned the UN Security Council that the conflict in the Gaza Strip "may aggravate existing threats to international peace and security."
Invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since becoming the organization's top official in 2017, Guterres said in a letter to the Security Council: "More than eight weeks of hostilities in Gaza and Israel have created appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory."
Later in the day, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on X, "I support Secretary-General Guterres' letter to the UN. Security Council, invoking Article 99 and appealing for a ceasefire. Gaza's health system is on its knees and near total collapse. We need peace for health."
"Gaza cannot afford to lose any more hospitals… and yet another one is on verge of closing. Kamal Adwan Hospital, in northern Gaza, has reportedly come to a virtual halt, with only 20 patients still getting care," Ghebreyesus added.
"This is due to intense fighting as well as a lack of basic supplies: water, food, medicines and fuel. This will deprive thousands of people of essential lifesaving care. Here's the latest Gaza hospital count: 14 partially functioning hospitals; 3 minimally functioning hospitals; 19 non-functioning hospitals; 2 field hospitals. This callousness must end," he underlined.
Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip on Friday after the end of a weeklong humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group Hamas.
At least 16,248 Palestinians have been killed and more than 43,616 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since Oct. 7 following a cross-border attack by Hamas.
The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stood at 1,200, according to official figures.