UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday welcomed an operation led by Qatar and France to deliver additional and much-needed medicines and medical supplies to the civilian population in Gaza and to deliver vital medicines to hostages currently held in Gaza.
"The entry of these critical supplies and humanitarian aid to Gaza is encouraging, however, much more aid needs to come into the Gaza Strip," said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for Guterres.
The UN chief commended Qatar and France for all their efforts, Dujarric added.
The secretary-general also reiterated his appeal for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and his call for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and for their humane treatment, said the spokesman.
Guterres urged all relevant actors to ensure that sufficient humanitarian aid gets into and where it is needed in Gaza and called for the reactivation of the private sector to bring basic commodities into the Gaza Strip, said the spokesman.
The secretary-general also expressed his continued concern about heightened tensions in the region and called for an urgent de-escalation, said Dujarric.
Qatar said medicine and other humanitarian aid for Israeli hostages and civilians in the Gaza Strip entered the territory on Wednesday under an agreement mediated by Qatar and France. ■