UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said Wednesday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemns the civilian deaths in Gaza as “unacceptable” and demands that “it (this) stop immediately” and urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint.
Israel bombed Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza for the second day in a row on Wednesday and Palestinian gunmen fired hundreds of rockets across the border, sending sirens blaring as far as Tel Aviv, while Egypt began efforts to broker an end to the fighting.
The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the escalation in violence.
Palestinian health officials said a total of 20 Palestinians, including at least five women and five children, as well as three senior Islamic Jihad commanders and four militants, have been killed since Israel launched the dawn strikes on Tuesday.
Haq said, “Israel must fulfill its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the proportionate use of force and take all possible precautions to avoid hitting civilians and civilian targets while carrying out military operations.”
He added that Guterres also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, saying it violated international humanitarian law and endangered Palestinian and Israeli civilians.
“The Secretary-General urges all parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint and work for an immediate cessation of hostilities,” Haq said in a statement.