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UN envoy appears to pan killing of PIJ commander, says he’s deeply saddened’ by death of 5-year-old in Gaza strike

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefs, over video conference, the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question on January 26, 2021. (Daniela Penkova/UNSCO/File)
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefs, over video conference, the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question on January 26, 2021. (Daniela Penkova/UNSCO/File)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland expresses his “deep concern” over the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

“I am deeply concerned by the ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza,” he says in an apparent condemnation of Israel’s assassinating of Tayseer Jabari

“I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians,” Wennesland.

“The continuing escalation is very dangerous. The launching of rockets must cease immediately, and I call on all sides to avoid further escalation.”

“The progress made in gradually opening Gaza since the end of the May escalation risks being undone, leading to even greater humanitarian needs at a time when global resources are stretched and international financial support for a renewed humanitarian effort in Gaza will not be easily available.”

“The UN is fully engaged with all concerned in an attempt to avoid a further conflict which would have devastating consequences, mainly for civilians.”

The responsibility is with the parties to avoid this from happening.”

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