Middle East

UN-backed body lists punishable offences for upcoming Iraqi elections

Interfering in the upcoming Iraqi polls by force or through threats is punishable by at least one year in prison, according to a list of offences issued today by an independent United Nations-backed elections body.

Ban concerned over threats against Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his great concern over reports that Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has been threatened recently.

Secretary-General sounds alarm as Israeli forces enter Gaza

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his deep concern over Israel's launch of a ground operation into Gaza today, with the Security Council holding an emergency meeting this evening to discuss the situation.

Gaza conflict threatens regional peace and stability, UN official cautions

The future of the Middle-East peace process, the stability of the region and the safety of ordinary people in the Gaza Strip have been seriously jeopardized by the “irresponsibility of Hamas rocket attacks” and the “excessiveness of Israel's response,” a senior United Nations envoy warned today, as diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict intensify.

UN seeks $34 million to aid Gazans as Israeli military operation continues

The United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees has appealed for $34 million to address the humanitarian needs of the population of Gaza, whose needs continue to mount amid an ongoing Israeli military operation that began on 27 December.