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UN urges Lebanon, Israel to stop border escalation

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Beirut, March 29

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has urged Lebanon and Israel to stop escalation in southern Lebanon, calling for a diplomatic solution to the border conflict.

“It is imperative that this escalation cease immediately. We urge all sides to put down their weapons and begin the process toward a sustainable political and diplomatic solution,” the UNIFIL said on Thursday in a statement.

The UNIFIL also expressed its concern over the surge of violence across the Blue Line, which has caused a high number of civilian deaths and the destruction of homes and livelihoods, Xinhua news agency reported.

The UNIFIL added that it remains ready to support a diplomatic solution in any way, including by convening a tripartite meeting at the parties’ request.

Earlier on Thursday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, Imran Riza, expressed concerns over repeated attacks on health facilities and health workers in southern Lebanon.

“Attacks on healthcare violate international humanitarian law and are unacceptable,” he said.

“The rules of war are clear: civilians, including healthcare workers, must be protected.”

The statement came a day after Israeli attacks killed 11 civilians in southern Lebanon, including 10 paramedics.

Tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border escalated on October 8, 2023, following a barrage of rockets launched by the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah toward Israel in solidarity with Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 last year. In response, Israel retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

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