The UN chief, however, expressed hope that a Security Council resolution to get more aid into Gaza will pave the way to a humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Guterres said this while speaking at a news conference at UN headquarters after the resolution was adopted.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Security Council had on Friday adopted a resolution on the ongoing crisis, with 13 votes in favour and the U.S. and Russia abstaining.
The resolution, among others demands immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza strip.
There has been no significant change in the way the war has been unfolding in Gaza, he said, with no effective protection of civilians.
Israeli bombardment continues while Hamas and other factions continue to fire rockets into the country.
The UN Chief outlined devastation that included more than 20,000 Palestinians reportedly killed and 1.9 million people, 85 per cent of the Gaza population, forced to flee their homes.
The health system is on its knees, clean water is at a trickle and the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned of the threat of widespread famine.
“A humanitarian ceasefire is the only way to begin to meet the desperate needs of people in Gaza and end their ongoing nightmare.
“I hope that today’s Security Council Resolution may help this finally to happen but much more is needed immediately,” he said.
Guterres said that it was a “mistake” to measure the effectiveness of the humanitarian operation in Gaza based on the number of aid trucks allowed to enter the enclave.
“The real problem is that the way Israel is conducting this offensive is creating massive obstacles to the distribution of humanitarian aid inside Gaza,” he said.
He stressed that an effective aid operation there required four elements that currently did not exist; namely security, staff who could work in safety, logistical capacity, and the resumption of commercial activity.
Regarding security, he noted that the intense Israeli bombardment and active combat in densely populated areas threatened both civilians and aid workers.
While humanitarian staff need to be able to live and work in safety, 136 personnel from the UN agency that assist Palestinians (UNRWA) have been killed since the start of the conflict, he said.
He added that “nowhere is safe in Gaza.”
Turning to logistics, he reported that every aid truck that came through the two open border crossings with Gaza – Kerem Shalom and Rafah – must be unloaded and then re-loaded for distribution across the enclave.
“Many of our vehicles and trucks were destroyed or left behind following our forced, hurried evacuation from the north, but the Israeli authorities have not allowed any additional trucks to operate in Gaza.
“This is massively hampering the aid operation,” he said.
Furthermore, aid delivery in the north is extremely dangerous due to active conflict, unexploded ordnance, and heavily damaged road, he added.
He said frequent communications blackouts in Gaza made it virtually impossible to coordinate the distribution of aid and people’s access to it.
Looking to the longer term, the UN chief also upheld the two-State solution as the only path to sustainable peace.
He said spillover from the conflict was already being felt in the immediate region and beyond, posing a significant and growing threat to global peace and security.
“As the conflict intensifies and the horror grows, we will continue to do our part. We will not give up.
“But at the same time, it is imperative that the international community speak with one voice: for peace, for the protection of civilians, for an end to suffering, and for a commitment to the two-state solution – backed with action,” he said.