UN condemns latest escalation in Gaza

United Nations, May 31 : UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov on Wednesday condemned the latest escalation in Gaza.

The past two days have seen the most serious escalation in Gaza since the 2014 conflict between Hamas and Israel, Mladenov told the UN Security Council. “They have been a warning to all of us how close we are to the brink of war every day,” Xinhua reported.

Between Monday and Wednesday, 216 projectiles, rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza toward Israel, he quoted the Israeli Defense Forces as saying.

Although most of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, one hit a kindergarten yard in a kibbutz near the Gaza border and at least another damaged a house, he said.

In response to those rockets and mortars, the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes on 65 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza and destroyed a 2-km tunnel near the Kerem Shalom crossing, said Mladenov.

Fortunately, there have been no casualties on either side, he said.

He condemned the indiscriminate targeting of civilians.

“Such attacks are completely unacceptable. The firing of rockets and mortars against civilians cannot be justified under any circumstances. I take this opportunity to call on the international community to join me in unequivocally condemning these indiscriminate targeting of civilians and the dangerous escalation in Gaza,” said Mladenov at an emergency meeting of the Security Council that was requested by the United States.

He noted that the situation has calmed down since the early hours of Wednesday.
(IANS)

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