UN Chief warns of 'uncontainable' Gaza crisis | Daily News

UN Chief warns of 'uncontainable' Gaza crisis

* Israeli strikes kill 42 in Gaza
* Hamas fires 3,000 rockets towards Israel
The Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza.
The Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza.

UN: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday pleaded for an immediate end to deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence, warning a Security Council meeting that the fighting could plunge the region into an "uncontainable" crisis.

"Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately," Guterres said as he opened a Security Council session delayed by Israel's ally the United States, calling the violence that has killed nearly 200 people over the past week "utterly appalling."

"It has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole," he said.

Guterres condemned the fresh violence on Sunday which killed 40 Palestinians, the worst death toll since the unrest broke out.

"This senseless cycle of bloodshed, terror and destruction must stop immediately," Guterres said.

He also renewed criticism of an Israeli strike on Saturday that destroyed the Gaza offices of two major news outlets, Al-Jazeera and the Associated Press.

"Journalists must be allowed to work free of fear and harassment. The destruction of media offices in Gaza is extremely concerning," Guterres said.

"In Israel, violence by vigilante-style groups and mobs has added a further horrendous dimension to an already deteriorating crisis," Guterres said.

"Leaders on all sides have a responsibility to curb inflammatory rhetoric and calm the rising tensions," the UN Chief said.

Meanwhile, Israeli strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily toll in almost a week of deadly clashes, as UN Security Council talks fizzled despite global alarm at the escalating conflict.

Israeli warplanes continued to pummel the Palestinian enclave overnight Sunday to Monday, carrying out dozens of air strikes across the densely populated territory in just a few minutes and causing power cuts.

The heaviest exchange of fire in years -- sparked by unrest in Jerusalem -- has killed 197 in Gaza and 10 in Israel since Monday, according to authorities on either side.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Army said that the number of rockets fired from Gaza surpassed the pace during an escalation in 2019 and during the 2006 war with Lebanon's Hezbollah. Israel has faced the highest ever rate of rocket attacks on its territory during its latest confrontation with the Palestinians Islamist group Hamas that controls Gaza, the army said Sunday.

Since Monday, armed groups in Gaza have fired about 3,000 rockets towards Israel, surpassing the pace during an escalation in 2019 and during the 2006 war with Lebanon's Hezbollah, said Major General Ori Gordin, during an online meeting with reporters.- HINDUSTAN TIMES