Updated March 4th, 2024 at 18:11 IST

Israel-Hamas War Becoming Much Broader Conflagration: UN

“I am deeply concerned that in this powder keg, any spark could lead to a much broader conflagration,” Turk said at the conference.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas. | Image:AP
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The United Nation’s human rights chief on Monday warned that the Israel-Hamas war was becoming a much broader conflagration with repercussions in the Middle East and beyond. Addressing a UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Volker Turk said that the conflict that was sparked after the October 7 raid by Hamas into the Israeli territory has spilt over beyond the borders and has been exacerbated.

“I am deeply concerned that in this powder keg, any spark could lead to a much broader conflagration,” Turk said at the conference. 

“This would have implications for every country in the Middle East, and many beyond it,” he added. Turk described the escalation in the southern Lebanon between Israel, Hezbollah and in Yemen a worrying development. US President Joe Biden had earlier stated that there would be a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war as soon as Monday, March 4. 

‘We’re close [to a ceasefire deal]. We’re not done yet:’ Biden

Biden, when asked when he thought a ceasefire could begin, told reporters that he “hopes to have a ceasefire” in the war by Monday. Biden added that a deal could see the release of the hostages held by Hamas in the October 7 raid, and a six-week pause to the fighting. “Well, I hope by the beginning of the weekend. The end of the weekend. My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet,” Biden said. 

“And my hope is that by next Monday [March 4] we’ll have a ceasefire,” he added. The US President made the remarks at an ice cream shop in New York. Biden raised the prospect of a ceasefire just a day ahead of the Michigan’s presidential primary. The US State Department, meanwhile, trudged cautiously on giving any deadlines for the ceasefire in Gaza war saying that while Israel has agreed to the framework of the agreement it entirely “depends on Hamas,” that the deal is struck before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “We believe a deal is possible and we hope Hamas will agree to one,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. “We need Hamas to say yes,” he added.

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US Vice President, Kamala Harris, launched a sharp rebuke against Israel as she condemned the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. In a speech made at Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, Harris called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. She asked Hamas to accept a deal to release hostages in exchange for six week ceasefire. “People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane and our common humanity compels us to act,” Harris said. “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. No excuses,” she added.

 

 

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 18:11 IST