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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights cautions that the conflict in Gaza could potentially contribute to a larger crisis in the Middle East.
Middle East World News

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights cautions that the conflict in Gaza could potentially contribute to a larger crisis in the Middle East.

Volker Türk expressed his worry that in this volatile situation, a small trigger could result in a larger and more widespread conflict, during his speech at the Human Rights Council, the highest human rights assembly within the United Nations.

During a planned briefing with the Council’s 47 Member States, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights emphasized the importance of the international community taking all necessary measures to prevent the escalation of conflict in Gaza.

His statements were made while there were requests for a prompt pause in hostilities for a period of six weeks, in order to assist in the release of Israeli captives through the efforts of United States Vice President Kamala Harris. Meanwhile, negotiations for a ceasefire were ongoing in Egypt on Sunday, allegedly involving representatives from the US, Qatar, and Hamas, but not yet including Israeli representatives.

According to Mr. Türk, the risks to the stability of the region were already evident in southern Lebanon. He emphasized that militia fighters with pro-Palestinian beliefs are now involved in a concerning increase of conflicts and shootings with Israel, specifically along the UN-monitored Blue Line that divides the two nations.

Since the start of the conflict in Gaza, nearly 200 individuals have lost their lives in Lebanon, as reported by the High Commissioner. This devastating toll includes innocent children, paramedics, and journalists.

According to Mr. Türk, around 90,000 individuals in Lebanon were forced to leave their homes due to the violence. He stated that there was widespread destruction to essential facilities, schools, and vital infrastructure. Similarly, Israeli communities experienced displacement of approximately 80,000 individuals from areas near the border as a result of the outbreak of violence, as acknowledged by the head of the UN human rights office.

In a relevant update, the health officials in the region stated that a minimum of 15 minors have recently passed away due to lack of proper nutrition and water at Kamal Adwan hospital, located in Gaza City.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a warning on Sunday, stating that unless aid is quickly increased, there is a high probability that many more young people will pass away in the near future.

“The anticipated fatalities among children have come to fruition and are expected to escalate quickly if the conflict persists and setbacks to providing aid are not promptly addressed,” stated Adele Khodr, Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at UNICEF.

The health officials in Gaza have stated that a total of 30,400 individuals, primarily women and children, have lost their lives due to heavy Israeli attacks and a military campaign against Hamas militants in the area.

According to UN Women, approximately 9,000 women have allegedly been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the conflict nearly five months ago. This number may be even higher, as there have been reports of more deaths under collapsed buildings.