Middle

UN rushes more emergency aid to south Lebanon while helping Lebanese in Syria

The United Nations sent more emergency humanitarian convoys to southern Lebanon today as the World Food Programme (WFP) said it was distributing food to almost 7,000 Lebanese who have fled the worsening conflict in their homeland and are now living in schools and abandoned buildings in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Gaza crisis must not be forgotten as spotlight moves to Lebanon, UNICEF says

The humanitarian crisis engulfing Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip is on the verge of being forgotten because of the fighting taking place in Lebanon and northern Israel, and children are suffering more than most, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today.

Annan discusses Middle East crisis with Council’s permanent members in informal talks

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met today with the five permanent members of the Security Council in informal talks focused on the crisis in the Middle East and how best to stop the bloodshed in a conflict that has killed hundreds of people and forced almost a million others to flee their homes across the region.

Security clearances and devastation hinder urgent UN aid to Middle East conflict areas

Demolished roads and bridges, fuel shortages and an inability to get security guarantees are all hindering the United Nations emergency effort to get urgent humanitarian aid to those most in need in the Middle East, a UN spokesman said today, as the world body's food agency warned there was “no time to waste.”

Israel used disproportionate force in Gaza, says UN humanitarian chief

The top United Nations aid official said today that Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip is a “disproportionate use of force” but he again emphasized that all sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were guilty of violating humanitarian law.

UN Middle East envoy calls for united effort to defuse ‘deep regional crisis’

Regretting that his meetings with leaders in Lebanon and Israel found “serious obstacles” to a comprehensive ceasefire in the violence-racked region, a top United Nations envoy today called on the Security Council to unite in the coming days to dramatically reduce the devastating toll on civilians, and to quickly develop the framework for a political solution.

Lebanon: UN force in south maintains activities despite heavy fire near positions

The United Nations force that monitors the line of withdrawal between Israel and Lebanon reported today that it has maintained its positions and humanitarian activities despite continuing heavy exchanges of fire between Israeli and Hizbollah forces in the area.

UN rights chief calls for protection of civilians and accountability in Mideast crisis

Expressing grave concern at the killing and maiming of civilians in Lebanon, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said today that the shelling of cities was an “unacceptable targeting of civilians,” and stressed that international law demands accountability.

In Jerusalem, UN team holds ‘intensive and productive’ talks on current crisis – official

A member of the United Nations team dispatched to the Middle East to defuse the current crisis said today in Jerusalem that talks with senior Israeli officials were “good, intensive and productive” and the dialogue will continue in the coming days.

UN force in Lebanon exerting all possible efforts to help civilians – spokesman

Despite limitations imposed by the current fighting in the Middle East, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is exerting all possible efforts to protect civilians affected by the violence, a spokesman for the world body said today.