UN urges Hamas, Israel to step back from brink

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for UN-HCHR, briefing reporters in Geneva
[PHOTO: UNifeed]
Geneva: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) condemned Israel's aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip as well as rockets fired by Hamas militants into southern Israel and called on both sides to step back from the brink. 

At least 20 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since Israel began its offensive on Wednesday (14 November). Overnight the Israeli military struck at more than 130 targets and militants fired 11 rockets from Gaza.

OHCHR Spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva that Navi Pillay was "appalled that once again civilians are losing their lives".

Colville added that Pillay was also "extremely concerned by the sharp increase in aerial attacks by Israeli forces on the heavily populated Gaza Strip in the past two days and urges both sides to pull back from an increasingly dangerous confrontation".

Violence escalated after the killing by Israel of Hamas' military leader Ahmed Jabari on Wednesday following a surge in rocket attacks from Gaza.

OHCHR Spokesperson said that "the High Commissioner has repeatedly and unequivocally condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, and is deeply concerned both by the recent major upsurge in the number of rocket attacks, and that they are now being aimed at a major city such as Tel Aviv".

Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip targeted Tel Aviv on Thursday in the first attack on Israel's commercial capital in 20 years. -UNifeed
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