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UN chief calls for to 'end bloody cycle of retaliation' in Middle East

UN Chief Antonio Guterres warned of escalating tensions in the Middle East, urging immediate action to halt violence and protect civilians. He highlighted the dangers faced by humanitarian workers and called for international unity to prevent further destabilization.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published April 18,2024

The UN chief on Thursday made a stark warning, urging to halt the dangerous escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

"The Middle East is on a precipice," Antonio Guterres told a UN Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

Highlighting the imperative to break the cycle of violence, Guterres urged for immediate action, stressing: "It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation. It is time to stop."

He called upon the international community to unite in preventing any actions that could further destabilize the region, potentially leading to catastrophic consequences for civilians.

Expressing deep concern for safety of humanitarian workers, Guterres emphasized the need for their security, revealing a troubling statistic: "Nearly 250 aid workers, including more than 180 of our own staff, have been killed in Gaza" since Oct. 7, 2023.

He reiterated his demand for thorough investigations into "these tragic deaths."

"Just last week, a UNICEF vehicle travelling with a convoy was caught in crossfire," said the secretary-general.

As tensions continue to rise in the region, Guterres noted the "shared responsibility to address those risks and pull the region back from the precipice."

While Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip continues since last October, when Hamas launched a cross-border incursion; tensions have also risen between Iran and Israel over the former's rocket and missile attack in response to an April 1 strike on its diplomatic mission in Damascus.