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UN chief says Israel’s war turned Gaza into 'humanitarian hellscape'

This photo taken in March 2024 shows Palestinian children in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. (By Bloomberg)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says Israel’s war on Gaza has turned the besieged strip into a "humanitarian hellscape," warning of a wider regional war.

"In Gaza, six and a half months of Israeli military operations have created a humanitarian hellscape," Guterres said Thursday.

He also reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and stressed that Israel must allow more aid into the hunger-stalked territory.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli intensified violence against Palestinians.

Tel Aviv has also blocked water, food, and electricity to Gaza, plunging the coastal strip into a humanitarian crisis.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 33,970 Palestinians and injured nearly 76,770 others.

Also on Thursday, the UN chief warned that one wrong move could see the West Asia region devolve into a wider war.

"The Middle East is on a precipice," Guterres said.

"One miscalculation, one miscommunication, one mistake, could lead to the unthinkable -- a full-scale regional conflict that would be devastating for all involved."

His remarks came amid reports of Israel's potential aggression on Iran.

The regime claimed it planned to strike back at Iran after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched a retaliatory operation against the Israeli regime on Saturday.

Iran’s IRGC launched the operation late on Saturday in response to a deadly attack by the Israeli regime against the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital on April 1.

The Israeli attack had resulted in the martyrdom of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, his deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, and five of their accompanying officers.

During the retaliatory strikes, dubbed Operation True Promise, the IRGC targeted the occupied territories with a barrage of drones and missiles. The strikes inflicted damage on Israeli military bases across the occupied territories.

Iran has already warned Israel against waging any attacks against Iranian targets or interests, noting that Tehran's response will be stronger than Saturday's operation. 

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