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UN urges Israel, Hamas to return to negotiating table after deadly strike

May 30, 2024

New York [US], May 30: The United Nations has called on Israel and Hamas to get back to negotiations on a ceasefire deal to "avoid further catastrophe" after the deadly Israeli strike on Rafah, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said on Wednesday.
"I urge the parties to return to the negotiating table immediately and in good faith. I reiterate my and the Secretary-General's repeated calls for the immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza and for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire," Wennesland said at a UN Security Council meeting on Palestine.
The envoy said that an Israeli strike on Sunday in which a reported 45 Palestinians were killed and 200 injured "does not stand alone amid a shocking number of civilian casualties.""I remind all parties of their obligations to protect civilians," Wennesland stressed.
The Middle East coordinator also said that the occupied West Bank remains a "pressure-cooker of negative trends."
"The risk of a regional conflagration is constant and is mounting every day this war continues. This trajectory must change if we are to avoid further catastrophe," he warned.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the airstrike that started a fire at a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah a "tragic mishap," adding that an investigation is underway.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that it used precise munitions in what they say was a "targeted strike in Rafah" to eliminate two senior Hamas fighters. The IDF said it is looking into the possibility of secondary explosions from an alleged Hamas ammunition warehouse causing the fire that claimed civilian lives.
Meanwhile, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unleashed criticism at Western leaders over their "silence" on the Gaza war, accusing them of being complicit in Israel's "barbarism".
"European heads of state and government, you have become complicit in Israel's vampirism due to your silence," he said, adding that the US's hands are especially "stained with blood".
Erdogan, in fiery remarks to Turkish lawmakers, also took aim at the UN, asking what good the grouping is if it cannot even stop "genocide" in the 21st century.
"The UN cannot even protect its own staff. What are you waiting for to act? The spirit of the United Nations is dead in Gaza," said Erdogan.
Erdogan has been one of Israel's most vocal critics during the war, calling it a "terror state" and imposing restrictions on trade with the country.
Source: Qatar Tribune