Conflicts & War

UN chief ‘deeply concerned’ as Gaza violence continues

Jerusalem, May 16 (EFE).- The United Nations secretary-general said Sunday he is “deeply concerned” by the escalating violence between Palestinian militants and Israel that have killed scores of people in the past week.

The Health Ministry in Gaza reported that the death toll rose to at least 174 on Sunday, including 47 children and 29 women, while 1,200 others have been wounded.

“The fighting must stop. It must stop immediately. Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop. I appeal to all parties to heed this call,” UN chief Antonio Guterres said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

“The hostilities have already caused unconscionable death, immense suffering and damage to vital infrastructure.

“The fighting risks dragging Israelis and Palestinians into a spiral of violence with devastating consequences for both communities and for the entire region.”

His appeal for calm came as Israeli Justice Minister Benny Gantz met with US deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel and Palestinian affairs Hady Amr, who arrived in Tel Aviv on Friday to lead the Joe Biden administration’s efforts to end the bloodshed.

Egypt, meanwhile, has reopened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to allow the entry of stranded Palestinians and patients for treatment at Egyptian hospitals, a Palestinian official told Efe.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not give further information about how long Gaza’s only key crossing point to the outside world would remain open.

Israeli attacks early on Sunday morning saw 50 bombings in less than 15 minutes, destroying the family residence of Yahya Sinwar, leader of Islamist movement Hamas since 2017. Sinwar was not at home.

His brother’s house was also destroyed in the airstrikes, Israel said.

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