Security Council Fails to Agree on Gaza Joint Statement

Palestinians run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during clashes, east of Gaza City March 30, 2018. Reuters

(Asharq Al-Awsat) – The UN Security Council heard fears of a further escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip during emergency talks Friday despite a failure to agree a joint statement on clashes that have left at least 16 people dead.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an “independent and transparent investigation” and reaffirmed “the readiness” of the world body to revitalize peace efforts, a spokesperson said.

“He also appeals to those concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties and in particular any measures that could place civilians in harm’s way,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Kuwait requested the meeting to discuss the unraveling situation in Gaza, where Palestinians said Israeli fire killed 16 people in the conflict’s deadliest single day since the 2014 Gaza war.

“There is fear that the situation might deteriorate in the coming days,” said assistant UN secretary general for political affairs, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, urging maximum restraint.

“Israel must uphold its responsibilities under international human rights and humanitarian law. Lethal force should only be used as a last resort with any resulting fatalities properly investigated by the authorities,” Zerihoun said.

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Source: Asharq Al-Awsat | News Now

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