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Situation in Gaza close to brink of war: Guterres

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Noor9NEW YORK (PNIC):-UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday warned of an imminent war between Israel and the Palestinians in case the current humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli blockade for 12 years now, remains as it is.

This came in Guterres' first report to the Security Council on Resolution 2334 which was issued on 23rd December 2016.

Resolution 2334 calls for an immediate halt to the settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, and confirms that Israel's settlement activities are illegal and blatantly violate international law.

The UN chief said in the report that he is shocked by the Israeli occupation forces' use of lethal force since border protests began in Gaza on 30th March.

He stressed that Israel has a responsibility to exercise maximum restraint and not to use live fire except as a last resort in the event of a real threat.

At least 136 Palestinians have been killed and over 13,000 injured by Israeli gunfire during peaceful protests along Gaza's eastern border in demand of the Palestinian refugees' right of return to their lands from which they were expelled in the 1948 war.

He renewed his call for a transparent and independent investigation into the killing of unarmed civilians in Gaza's border protests.

Guterres in his report warned that Israel's settlement activities continue unabated and undermine the hopes and the practical prospects for establishing a viable Palestinian state.

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