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Lebanon cannot become another Gaza – UN chief warns Israel

UN Secretary General

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Friday, June 21 that Israel and Lebanon should avoid escalating tensions to prevent miscalculation and result in another bloody Middle East war like what is happening in Gaza.

Iran-backed militant group, Hezbollah has been firing rockets at Israel in solidarity with its Palestinian ally Hamas since the Gaza war erupted in October, forcing tens of thousands to flee homes in Israel

Iran’s mission to the United Nations said on Friday that Hezbollah has the capability to defend itself and Lebanon against Israel, warning that “perhaps the time for the self-annihilation of this illegitimate regime has come.”

“Any imprudent decision by the occupying Israeli regime to save itself could plunge the region into a new war,” Iran’s U.N. mission posted on X.

Speaking to reporters, Guteres said; “One rash move – one miscalculation – could trigger a catastrophe that goes far beyond the border, and frankly, beyond imagination,”

“Let’s be clear: The people of the region and the people of the world cannot afford Lebanon to become another Gaza.”

A U.N. peacekeeping force UNIFIL, as well as unarmed technical observers known as UNTSO, have long been stationed in southern Lebanon to monitor hostilities along the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, known as the Blue Line.

“U.N. peacekeepers are on the ground working to de-escalate tensions and help prevent miscalculation,” Guterres said.

“The world must say loudly and clearly: immediate de-escalation is not only possible – it is essential,” he said. “There is no military solution.”

Tensions between Israel and Lebanon increased this week after Hezbollah shared a video online showing several Israeli military and civilian sites close to it’s border with Lebanon.

Following the release of the drone footage, Israel responded that war with Lebanon was close and would be very brutal if carried out.

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