United Nations deputy chief calls for peace in Gaza

United Nations deputy chief calls for peace in Gaza

United Nations deputy chief calls for peace in Gaza

"My first words are to deplore the tragic loss of lives and suffering in Gaza and to express my deep sadness and condolences to the Palestinian people", Guterres said in a statement read by Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette at the UN's NY headquarters.

Zeid said protesters' "actions alone do not appear to constitute the imminent threat to life or deadly injury which could justify the use of lethal force".

During the UNSC emergency session, the majority of envoys condemned the use of force by Israel, with many calling for an independent investigation into Monday's violence. Zeid said he supported the call for an investigation "that is global, independent and impartial, in the hope the truth regarding these matters will lead to justice".

A total of 60 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,400 injured during the clashes with Israeli Defense Forces as the so-called Great March of Return turned violent following the US Embassy's move to Jerusalem on May 14.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it a "devastating one-sided loss of life", and said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has voiced its concerns with the Israeli Ambassador on behalf of the Government.

The increased tension comes as Israel's Independence Day approaches, with celebrations set to coincide with a ceremony marking the relocation of the US Embassy, scheduled for Monday, May 14.

She pledged that the United Nations will continue to support Israelis and Palestinians on the road to peace by helping them to take the historic steps to achieve a solution of two states living side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders, "with Jerusalem as the capital of both".

Special rallies and gatherings are being organized to express solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine and to condemn Israel's state terrorism in Gaza.

The foreign ministers renewed their rejection and condemnation of Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, decrying it as a blatant violation of global law and related United Nations resolutions and a threat to worldwide peace and security.

Responding to criticism from the United Nations human rights chief at a debate that is likely to end by setting up an inquiry into recent violence, she said the Council had returned to its "worst form of anti-Israel obsession".

Israel's violent crackdown on the protesters has drawn widespread criticism, with Kuwait urging a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation along the Gaza-Israel border.

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