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Tensions rise on Israel-Lebanon border, UN calls for restraint

The consequences of the Israeli-Hamas war and bombardment of the Gaza Strip resulted in a renewed tense situation on the Israel-Lebanon border.

Israel has resumed its bombardment and shelling of the Gaza Strip today, resulting in the discovery of 10 bodies in the northern part of the territory after Israeli strikes on three separate houses.

The city of Rafah also suffered military action today. Witnesses reported clashes between Hamas and Israeli forces in the west of the city, as well as shelling of a refugee camp in the centre of the city. Rescue teams in Gaza retrieved the bodies of nine Palestinians from different areas of Rafah, Wafa news agency reported, citing medical sources at Gaza’s European Hospital in Khan Younis. In addition, there are no hospitals in Rafah, resulting in a lack of medical care, and all injured Palestinians are deprived of timely care.

Worries about a wider conflict in the Middle East have reignited. Hezbollah have launched waves of rockets and drones at Israeli military targets. Hezbollah claimed the intense strikes since Wednesday were retaliation for Israel’s killing of one of its commanders.

Israel’s Armed Forces (IDF) responded with shelling and announced airstrikes on Hezbollah infrastructure across the border. Israeli attacks killed two women after hitting Jannat in southern Lebanon, a village official said.

UN urges Israel and Lebanon to exercise restraint

On Friday, the United Nations appealed to both sides to show restraint, according to Anadolu Ajansı. The statement came amid Israeli soldiers allegedly trying to start fires in southern Lebanon launched fireballs from catapults. Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq emphasised the need for the sides to cease hostilities and pursue a diplomatic solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701. He told a news conference:

“We are encouraging all parties to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any action or statement. We’re continuing to engage with the parties and urge all actors to avoid hostile actions, and return to a cessation of hostilities.”

Moreover, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) continues to fulfil its responsibilities on the ground and is working to reduce tensions, but the risk of a wider conflagration is real, the spokesman said.

The Israel-Hamas conflict began on 7 October after a cross-border attack by Hamas into southern Israel. Tel Aviv, in response, launched a counter-offensive that has caused the deaths of at least 37,200 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them women and children.

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