UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the “most serious escalation” of violence in the Gaza Strip places the besieged enclave on the “brink of war”.
The UN chief said he is “shocked” by Israel’s use of live fire since border protests began in Gaza on March 30.
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) June 18, 2018
Guterres said its military has “a responsibility to exercise maximum restraint” except as a last resort.
“The killing of children, as well as of clearly identified journalists and medical staffers by security forces during a demonstration are particularly unacceptable. They must be allowed to perform their duties without fear of death or injury.”
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) June 20, 2018
Since weekly mass protests began along the Israel-Gaza border on March 30, over 130 Palestinians have been killed and 13,000 others wounded by Israeli army fire.
The marchers have pressed demands for a right of return for Palestinian refugees to their families homes which they were forced to flee 70 years ago.
This World Refugee Day. In 2018, what does it mean to still be a refugee?
In Gaza, it means being a victim of a decade-long blockade and humanitarian crisis, resulting in 1 million people dependent on food aid.
Join #DignityIsPriceless https://t.co/f7iWVhjfuA pic.twitter.com/BAhBj9I9W2
— UNRWA (@UNRWA) June 19, 2018
He also expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation and economic collapse in Gaza, marked by a “severe liquidity crisis and an acute shortage of cash”.
Guterres reiterated that “there is no viable alternative to the two-state solution,” with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.
UN Secretary-General Antony Guterich: The recent "tremendous suffering" in Gaza threatens to bring the situation closer to the brink of war and call for an independent and transparent investigation into the killing and wounding of thousands on the Gaza Strip border pic.twitter.com/HDhtEtAY1K
— Emad rafat (@e24h) June 16, 2018
Guterres condemned the ruling made by the Israeli High Court on May 24 to demolish buildings in the Bedouin community of Khan Al Ahmar.
Guterres also said:
“It may constitute a grave breach of international humanitarian law.”
Around twelve Israeli soldiers and police entered the village of Khan Al Ahmar yesterday. They were allegedly assessing for entering the village via the highway for the purpose of demolition. pic.twitter.com/vawJU7JzCk
— #FreePalestine 🇵🇸 (@Taghreeba) June 20, 2018
The secretary-general condemned Israel’s settlement activity that he says “continue unabated”, highlighting Israel’s decision on May 30 to approve 3,500 housing units in the West Bank – the largest batch of new housing since June 2017.
The UN considers the expansion of settlements on land earmarked for a future Palestinian state to be illegal. Guterres said the construction must “cease immediately and completely”.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)