UN chief says Lebanon must not degenerate into 'another Gaza'


U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that fighting between Israel and Hezbollah must not turn Lebanon into "another Gaza."

Guterres cited increased "bellicose rhetoric" from both sides as they engage in nearly daily exchanges of fire across the Israel-Lebanon border in parallel with the war in the Gaza Strip, and he said they risk triggering a catastrophe "beyond imagination."

"Let’s be clear: The people of the region and the people of the world cannot afford Lebanon to become another Gaza," Guterres told reporters.

As Israel and Hezbollah trade cross-border fire, fears of a regional conflict are growing after Israel revealed it had approved plans for a Lebanon offensive and the Iran-backed group vowed to blanket Israel in rockets.

"The risk for the conflict in the Middle East to widen is real -- and must be avoided," Guterres said.

"One rash move –- one miscalculation -- could trigger a catastrophe that goes far beyond the border, and frankly, beyond imagination," he added.

On both sides of the U.N. drawn boundary between Israel and Lebanon known as the Blue Line, he said many have been killed and thousands displaced while exchanges of fire continue along with escalating rhetoric from both sides “as if an all-out war was imminent.”

The secretary-general added that "homes and livelihoods have been destroyed, and bushfires sparked by explosions are further devastating communities and the environment.”

Moreover, Guterres Israel and Hezbollah must urgently return to a cessation of hostilities as required by a Security Council resolution in 2006 at the end of a war between the two sides.

“The cessation of hostilities and progress toward a permanent cease-fire is the only durable solution,” he said.

Guterres added that U.N. peacekeepers are on the ground “working to de-escalate tensions and help prevent miscalculations in an extremely challenging environment.”

“The United Nations fully supports diplomatic efforts to end the violence, restore stability and avoid even greater human suffering in a region that has seen far too much,” the secretary-general said.

Comments 3
Missing phillipo 22 June 2024, 11:37

Agree 100%, so make him tell Hizballah to cease its fighting, or tell him to shut up.
Ask him where exactly are his UNIFIL forces on the eastern part of the border to separate between Hizballah and the Israeli border. Hizballah who have since the very first moment in 2006 violated Resolution 1701 by being south of the Litani River.

Missing 1948 22 June 2024, 11:52

He know the Zionist criminal cowards will only bomb civilian targets, but this time the Israeli will feel the burn, if the fascist leaders(ICC wanted criminals) start a ground offensive.

Missing HellAndWaite 22 June 2024, 22:40

Makram Rabah is more insightful, forward looking, and so instructive than Guterres has been throughout all his comments on the Middle East, at least since October 7, 2023.
. See: https://english.alarabiya.net/views/2024/06/13/unraveling-the-mirage-hezbollah-iran-and-lebanon-s-future

Of special note "The post-October 7 world does not have room for a Lebanon that does not realize that years of corruption and impunity and the unethical demeanor of the Lebanese political establishment have turned this small state into a security threat to the entire region. If the Lebanese do not rise from their deep hibernation and reclaim the sovereignty of their land, given all the signs, a repeat of past Israeli wars would be a best-case scenario."