Is Israel-Lebanon war possible? UN chief's ‘disaster’ prediction | World News - Hindustan Times
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Is Israel-Lebanon war possible? UN chief's ‘disaster’ prediction

Jan 17, 2024 07:35 PM IST

This comes as the Lebanese-Israeli border witnesses a near daily exchange of fire between Israel and Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, amid Gaza war.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned that a "full-fledged confrontation" between Israel and Lebanon would be a "total disaster" for the world as he spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza again, he said, “The spillover that is already taking place, the risk of a full-fledged confrontation in Lebanon, it would be a total disaster. We need to avoid it at all cost.”

Israel-Hamas War: UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Gaza.(AFP)
Israel-Hamas War: UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting on Gaza.(AFP)

This comes as the Lebanese-Israeli border witnesses a near daily exchange of fire between Israel and Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, amid Gaza war. Meanwhile, Houthis have also struck shipping in the Red Sea in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The United Nations chief said, “What we are seeing in the Red Sea, all this demonstrates that it's not enough. It's very important to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza. It's very important to have a humanitarian ceasefire.”

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Reiterating his demand for an independent Palestinian state to be established, Antonio Guterres said, “I believe that the present situation has demonstrated that the two-state solution is an absolutely central way to solve this problem.”

This comes as the head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, said that many residents are no longer able to see "the future in the Gaza Strip".

"You have hundreds of thousands of people living now in the street, living in these plastic makeshift (tents), sleeping on the concrete," he said, adding, “The north for us is a pocket of humanitarian catastrophe. Would you even encourage anyone to go to the north when we know the north is infested by UXOs -- unexploded ordnance -- and rubble, and non-functioning services?”

What's happening in Gaza?

Fighting continued in Gaza since Hamas' October 7 attacks on Israel that killed 1,140 people. Israel's bombardments and ground assaults have killed at least 24,448 Palestinians, more than 70 percent of them women, young children and adolescents. Half a million children in Gaza aged six to 14 are estimated to have no access to education, it was reported.

 

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