UN chief ‘gravely concerned’ over further spillover of Gaza war

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is gravely concerned about the spillover of the Gaza conflict, and calls on all parties to exercise maximum restraint for regional peace, his spokesman has stated.

“As the hostilities between Israel and Hamas and other groups in Gaza intensify, the Secretary-General remains gravely concerned about the further spillover of this conflict, which could have devastating consequences for the entire region,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Friday.

The longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the greater the risk of regional conflagration, given the risk of escalation and miscalculation by multiple actors, he continued.

The escalating violence in the occupied West Bank, including intensified Israeli security forces operations, high numbers of fatalities, settler violence and attacks on Israelis by Palestinians, “is extremely alarming”, he added.

He stressed that the daily exchanges of fire across the Blue Line risk triggering a broader escalation between Israel and Lebanon and affecting regional stability.

Guterres is “increasingly concerned” about the spillover effects of the continuing attacks by armed groups in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Houthi attacks against vessels in the Red Sea, which have escalated in recent days, he added.

“The Secretary-General urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint and take urgent steps to de-escalate tensions in the region,” Dujarric stressed.

Appealing to all members of the international community to do everything in their power to use their influence on the relevant parties to prevent an escalation of the situation in the region, Guterres also reiterates his call for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, he said.

Since Hamas’ cross-border attack on Oct. 7, Israel has continued relentless attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 21,500 Palestinians and injuring 56,000, according to local health authorities.

Authorities claim the Hamas attacks have killed around 1,200 Israelis.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicines.

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