UN rights chief: Essential to prevent Israel-Hamas war becoming much broader conflagration

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk delivers a speech at the opening of the 54th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, on September 11, 2023. (Fabrice COFFRINI/AFP)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk delivers a speech at the opening of the 54th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, on September 11, 2023. (Fabrice COFFRINI/AFP)

The United Nations human rights chief says it is imperative to avoid any exacerbation of the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, warning that any conflagration could have broad repercussions across the Middle East and beyond the region.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Volker Turk says the war in Gaza, which has been raging since the devastating Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel, has already spilled over.

“I am deeply concerned that in this powder keg, any spark could lead to a much broader conflagration,” says Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“This would have implications for every country in the Middle East, and many beyond it.”

Turk describes the military escalation in southern Lebanon between Israel, Hezbollah and other terror groups as “extremely worrying.” Hezbollah-led forces have been launching daily attacks on Israeli communities and military posts along the border since October 8.

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