U.N. pleads for Gaza access; Netanyahu offers 'tactical little pauses' but no cease-fire

An Israeli 155mm self-propelled howitzer fires from a base in southern Israel into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Photo by Jim Hollander/UPI
1 of 11 | An Israeli 155mm self-propelled howitzer fires from a base in southern Israel into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Photo by Jim Hollander/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 7 (UPI) -- One month on from the start of Israel's war with Hamas, the United Nations said Tuesday urged for humanitarian access as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again rejected calls for a cease-fire.

The death toll in Gaza surpassed 10,000 ahead of the one-month mark, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry and the United Nations said Tuesday that 160 children are among the dead every day.


"Every day you think it is the worst day and then the next day is worse," U.N. health agency spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said. "Access, access, access, is necessary."

Lindmeier appealed for "the political will to at least grant a humanitarian pause and access to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population as well as the hostages in Gaza."

"Nothing justifies the horror being endured by civilians in Gaza," he said.


According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the U.N. body that deals with Palestinian aid, more than two-thirds of Gaza's population has been displaced since Oct. 7.

Additionally, the UNRWA says over 717,000 people have taken shelter at 147 of its facilities in Gaza.

According to the UNRWA, 66 people have been killed, and 540 have been wounded, at its facilities.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asked how long the fighting would last and stressed that over 4,000 children have been killed in the Israeli assault.

"It has been a month of intense bombardment in Gaza. 10,000 people have died. Over 4,000 of them were children. How long will this human catastrophe last," Ghebreyesus posted on X Tuesday.

In an interview with ABC News that aired Monday night ahead of the one-month anniversary of the Oct. 7 surprise attack that left 1,400 people in Israel dead, Netanyahu said that Israel would not agree to a cease-fire saying it would "hamper the war effort" and efforts to get Hamas to release hostages taken in the attack, saying "the only thing that works on these criminals in Hamas is the military pressure that we're exerting."

"There'll be no cease-fire, general cease-fire in Gaza without the release of our hostages," he said. "As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there. We've had them before, I suppose, will check the circumstances in order to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don't think there's going to be a general cease-fire."


On Monday morning, Israel announced a four-hour pause to allow civilians to safely evacuate to the southern end of Gaza.

Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden had also discussed the possibility of "tactical pauses" on Monday but the White House said Biden was not able to persuade Biden to agree.

When asked who should govern Gaza after the conflict, Netanyahu said he believed Israel would have a responsibility in the region for an "indefinite period."

"I think Israel will, for an indefinite period will have the overall security responsibility because we've seen what happens when we don't have it," Netanyahu said. "When we don't have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn't imagine."

Biden has previously said it would be a mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza, and Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant said last month that one key objective of Israel's military campaign was to sever "Israel's responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip" and establish a "new security reality for the citizens of Israel."

The U.S. has also said the Palestinian Authority, which administers the West Bank, could oversee Gaza while others have suggested a consortium of Arab states could do the job collectively.


U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said no matter who takes charge, Hamas can't be in control of Gaza anymore.

"We are having conversations with our Israeli counterparts about what governance in Gaza should look like post-conflict and I don't believe that any solutions have been settled upon one way or the other," Kirby said.

Families of Israeli hostages protest outside parliament

Families and friends of Israeli hostages, being held in captivity by Hamas in Gaza, call on the government for their release at a demonstration outside the Knesset, the parliament, in Jerusalem, on November 6, 2023. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

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