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UN Mideast envoy warns of danger of war in Gaza

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-04-27 10:39
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United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov (L, front), speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, at the UN headquarters in New York, April 26, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS - UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov on Thursday warned of the danger of another war in the Gaza Strip after weeks of violence on the border with Israel.

"This combination of the security, development and humanitarian deterioration, coupled with the political impasse, makes Gaza a power keg. Notwithstanding the tragic developments in the rest of the region, we must do everything possible to prevent another war in Gaza," Mladenov told the Security Council.

For the past four weeks, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have converged on the border with Israel in the context of the Great March of Return protests. Demonstrations are expected to continue and culminate around the Israeli independence day on May 14, and could spread to the West Bank and beyond, noted Mladenov.

"If another conflict between Hamas and Israel were to erupt, this would have devastating consequences for Palestinians in Gaza. It could undermine the relative stability of the West Bank and have repercussions for Israel and the region," he warned.

Since March 30, during those demonstrations, 35 Palestinians have been killed and large numbers have been injured by Israeli security forces. No Israeli casualties have been reported, said Mladenov.

There has also been an increasing number of dangerous incidents at the border fence, including the planting of improvised explosive devices -- at least one of which detonated -- the throwing of Molotov cocktails and attempts to breach the fence, he said.

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