UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is keen on safe passage of aid to Gaza, which is under an Israeli siege. / Photo: AA

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday to discuss how to get humanitarian aid into Gaza as it endures steady attacks from Israel, the UN has said.

Guterres, who is now in China, will confer with Egypt's leader and other officials in Cairo to talk about Israel's war on Hamas in retaliation for the militant Palestinian group's surprise attacks on October 7, spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Guterres will also speak at an international conference that Sisi is sponsoring, according to Dujarric.

He did not specify if the UN secretary-general will also go to Israel or anywhere else in the Middle East as the crisis intensifies.

'Safe passage'

Dujarric said Guterres will focus on how to get much-needed aid into Gaza as Israel prepares a ground offensive into the impoverished coastal strip of land.

"Obviously, we need, in order to move humanitarian aid through Gaza, we need safe passage, right? We can't move humanitarian trucks and convoys while active bombardment is ongoing," Dujarric said.

He added: "There are intense discussions going on in which we're involved with a number of parties in order to try to get the most basic humanitarian aid in as quickly as possible and that's food, water, medicine. Those things are urgently needed."

Egypt is in charge of Gaza's only border crossing not controlled by Israel, but has kept the gates closed.

US President Joe Biden is expected to visit Israel on Wednesday to show solidarity and negotiate some kind of mechanism to get aid into Gaza.