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UN official warns of escalating crisis in Gaza, West Bank

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Shillong, June 26: A UN official warned the Security Council of a deepening crisis in Gaza and the West Bank.

 

During a Security Council briefing, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland described the “catastrophic and horrifying” humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where civilians suffer under the impact of hostilities and a near-total breakdown of civil order, reports Xinhua news agency.

 

He reiterated the Secretary-General’s warning that further escalations “will only guarantee more suffering and potentially catastrophic consequences for the region.”

 

Wennesland condemned the ongoing Israeli settlement expansions as having “no legal validity” and being in “flagrant violation of international law and relevant UN resolutions.”

 

“I urge the Government of Israel to cease all settlement activity immediately,” Wennesland stated.

 

The UN official also condemned the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, which have destroyed neighbourhoods and vital infrastructure, including hospitals and UN premises.

 

Wennesland noted the increase in violence between Palestinians and Israeli forces and attacks by both Israeli settlers and Palestinians, emphasising that “all perpetrators of violence must be held accountable and swiftly brought to justice.”

 

He also expressed serious concerns over potential military escalations between Israel and Hezbollah along the Blue Line, the boundary separating Lebanese and Israeli armed forces.

 

Additionally, Wennesland addressed the Palestinian Authority’s fiscal crisis, exacerbated by Israeli financial constraints. He warned of severe repercussions for the Palestinian financial system, urging immediate action to resolve these financial issues to mitigate the economic and security situation in the occupied West Bank. (IANS)

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