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United Nations warns of a serious devastation if Israel-Hezbollah war escalated

The UN expressed serious concerns about the escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, warning that it could cause additional suffering and devastation in Lebanon and Israel and have “potentially catastrophic consequences for the region.”

Tor Wennesland, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East, urged both sides to take urgent, immediate steps to deescalate the situation.

Tensions along the border between Israel and Lebanon have been rising, with cross-border exchanges of fire increasing in recent weeks. This prompted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to warn that the risk of the conflict spreading to the wider region “is real and must be avoided.”

Wennesland spoke during a Security Council meeting on the implementation of Resolution 2334, adopted in 2016. This resolution demands an end to all Israeli settlement activity, immediate steps to prevent violence and acts of terror against civilians, and calls on both sides to refrain from provocative actions, incitement, and inflammatory rhetoric.

Wennesland expressed deep concern about the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. He reiterated that all settlements “have no legal validity and are in flagrant violation of international law,” and called on Israel to cease all such activity immediately.

He also highlighted the escalating violence and tensions in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. “Intensified armed exchanges between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, alongside lethal attacks by Palestinians against Israelis and by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, have exacerbated tensions and led to exceedingly high levels of casualties and detentions. All perpetrators of attacks must be held accountable,” he added.

Wennesland attributed regional instability to the ongoing hostilities in Gaza and stressed the need for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. “There is a deal on the table and it should be agreed,” he told council members, commending efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States to reach such a deal.

He lamented the lack of effective mechanisms from Israel to provide humanitarian notifications, safe conditions for humanitarian operations, and sufficient access for aid workers to address humanitarian needs. These measures, he said, remain “sorely lacking and must be put in place without delay.”

“Hunger and food insecurity persist,” Wennesland added. “While projections of imminent famine in the northern governorates have been averted through an increase in food deliveries, food insecurity has worsened in the south. Nearly all of Gaza’s population continues to face high levels of food insecurity, with nearly half a million people facing ‘catastrophic’ insecurity.”

Senior UN officials warned Israeli authorities on Tuesday that they would suspend aid operations across the battered enclave unless urgent steps are taken to protect humanitarian workers.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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