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UN rights chief backs US-proposed Gaza ceasefire plan

By AFP

June 4, 2024 07:30 PM


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The UN human rights chief said on Tuesday he backs the proposed US ceasefire plan for the conflict in Gaza and described the situation in the Palestinian territory as "beyond precarious".

Volker Turk, who arrived in Malaysia on Sunday as part of his Southeast Asia tour, said "any initiative that leads to a ceasefire that leads to an ending of what's happening now is of course welcome".

"We don't even know how to describe it any more. It is beyond precarious. It is beyond catastrophic," he told reporters.

Turk also said norms and standards on the conduct of war are being "brutally violated," adding there is "no safety within Gaza and it's a very tragic situation."

The UN rights chief has met Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and civil and rights groups to discuss a wide range of topics including human rights abuses in the region.

Turk's comments come after the US on Monday said it wants the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution supporting the proposal outlined by President Joe Biden to end fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the US, France, Britain, China or Russia to pass.

Previous frameworks presented by mediators have run aground over Hamas's demand that any truce lead to a permanent ceasefire, while Israel has said it must be allowed to pursue its war aim of destroying the militant group.

The Hamas attack on October 7 resulted in the death of 1,194 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

More than 36,470 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the war broke out, according to data provided by the health ministry of Hamas-run Gaza.

Turk leaves for Thailand late Tuesday and then travels to Laos Friday on the final leg of his tour.


AFP


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