DFA ‘seriously concerned’ over violence in Jerusalem, Gaza Strip

DFA ‘seriously concerned’ over violence in Jerusalem, Gaza Strip

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday expressed “serious concern” over the escalation of violence in parts of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, worsened by the aerial exchanges between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

“The Philippines urges all parties to exercise restraint and seek dialogue to de-escalate tensions and avoid further actions that could affect future Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations,” the agency said in a statement.

Hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas flared up on Tuesday night, with six killed in Israel and 56 in Gaza in the deadly trade of rocket fires and airstrikes, Israeli news site Haaretz reported.

The intensified fighting follows days of clashes between protesters and Israeli police over the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers.

The United Nations earlier warned that these continued hostilities could spiral into a “full-scale war,” urging all parties to initiate de-escalation of conflict.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland in a tweet on Wednesday said leaders on all sides must “stop the fire immediately” as the cost of war in Gaza is devastating and is being paid by ordinary people.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile, said that the UN is working “with all relevant parties to de-escalate the situation urgently.” Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / PNA – northboundasia.com