Guterres calls for full respect of Israel-Hamas ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24, 2019 (Xinhua) — The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the opening of the General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 24, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Muzi/IANS)

United Nations, June 17 (IANS) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the full respect of the ceasefire agreed between Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement which brought an end to the 11-day bloodshed in Gaza Strip late last month.

Responding to a question about the Secretary-General’s reaction to Tuesday’s escalating violence, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Guterres, said at a regular press briefing on Wednesday that the UN chief “expresses concern over the most recent round of violence”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Haq added that Guterres “would like to see the cessation of hostilities be maintained and solidified in order to give space for the relevant parties to work out arrangements to stabilize the situation”.

The Israeli army said on Wednesday that it had carried out the first airstrike in the Gaza Strip since the ceasefire which came into effect on May 21.

In the overnight attack, Israeli war jets struck military compounds belonging to Hamas in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, the military said in a statement.

The statement accused Hamas of being responsible “for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip” and warned that the group “will bear the consequences for its actions”.

“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is prepared for any scenario, including a resumption of hostilities, in the face of continuing terror activities from the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.

Hundreds of Israeli ultra-nationalists marched on Tuesday in East Jerusalem, waving Israeli flags.

Some of them chanted “Death to Arabs” and other anti-Arab slurs.

Militants in Gaza responded to the march by launching “arson balloons” that caused at least 13 fires in southern Israel.

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