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UN chief strongly condemns Israel mounting violence in Jenin

United Nations, Jul 6 (Prensa Latina) UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres on Thursday stated that Israel's airstrikes and ground operations in a crowded refugee camp have been the worst violence in the West Bank in many years.

Guterres strongly condemned the two-day long military assault in Jenin which began on Monday morning, involving the use of airstrikes and missiles fired from drones.

According to the Palestinian health ministry 12 people were killed during what Israel described as a counter-terror operation, including three children. At least 120 were wounded, including 20 still in critical condition.

Gun battles broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, with some roads torn up, and many homes and properties damaged. At least 3,000 were reportedly forced to flee their homes.

Addressing correspondents at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General noted that schools and hospitals had been damaged in Jenin, along with water and electricity networks.

“I once again call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law, including the duty to exercise restraint and use only proportional force and the duty to minimize damage and injury and respect and preserve human life.”

He described the use of airstrikes as “inconsistent with the conduct of law enforcement operations”, and reminded Israel that as the Occupying Power, it is responsible for ensuring civilians are “protected against all acts of violence.”

“Restoring the hope of the Palestinian people in a meaningful political process, leading to a two-State solution and the end of the occupation, is an essential contribution by Israel to its own security,” he added.