Middle East

Civilian casualties climb, as UN chief calls on all parties to 'immediately cease' fighting in Gaza and Israel

The UN Secretary-General on Friday issued an urgent appeal for all parties involved in this week's escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian enclave of Gaza, and Israel, to "immediately cease the fighting", or risk creating an "uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis". 

De-escalation ‘an absolute must’ in Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres

De-escalation of the Palestine-Israel conflict is “an absolute must” said the UN Secretary-General on Wednesday, declaring that the mounting death toll, including children, was totally unacceptable.

Iraq: New UN report shines light on ‘deeply worrying’ pattern of restrictions in Kurdistan 

Over the past year, freedom of expression in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has been increasingly curtailed, according to a UN report issued on Wednesday.   

Tensions could escalate to ‘full-scale war’, UN Middle East envoy warns

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process added his voice to calls for calm in the Occupied Palestinian Territory late on Tuesday, warning that the situation is “escalating towards a full-scale war”, amid continuing air strikes and rocket attacks.

UN chief and senior officials express deep concern over East Jerusalem violence

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and senior UN officials have expressed their deep concern over confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem, particularly those which began on Friday evening, and continued into Sunday night. Several Palestinian children are among the wounded.

Kabul school bombing condemned by senior UN officials

Saturday’s deadly bombing outside a high school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, has been condemned by leading UN officials including the Secretary-General António Guterres. The attack led to the deaths of at least 60 people, including several schoolchildren.

Stop evictions in East Jerusalem neighbourhood immediately, UN rights office urges Israel

The UN’s human rights office (OHCHR), on Friday, called on Israel to immediately halt all forced evictions, including those in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, as well as to exercise maximum restraint in the use of force while ensuring safety and security there.

Middle East coordinator calls for new and timely Palestinian election date 

After the postponement of the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, originally scheduled for 22  May, a senior UN official in the region on Friday urged the authorities to set a new date for heading to the polls. 

Iraq: UN representative calls for ‘stronger protection measures’ after fatal fire in COVID hospital

The UN Special Representative in Iraq expressed “shock and pain” on Sunday over a deadly accident that befell a COVID-19 hospital in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. 

Elections could pave way to Palestinian unity, advance peace: UN envoy

Expectations are high for the first Palestinian elections in 15 years, UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Thursday, urging international support for the process.