Hamas, Israel urged to protect civilians, respect humanitarian law

GENEVA – Switzerland has urged both Hamas and the Israeli army to protect civilians, saying “de-escalation is the priority.”

"Switzerland condemns shocking attacks, including acts of terror and missile strikes by Hamas against Israel," the Swiss mission to the UN said on X.

This came after the UN Security Council closed its consultations on the situation in Israel and Gaza on Sunday.

"We call on all parties to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law. De-escalation is the priority," it urged.

The Gaza-based resistance group Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel early Saturday, firing a barrage of rockets. It said the surprise attack was in response to the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and increased settler violence.

In retaliation, the Israeli army launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 508 Palestinians and wounding 2,800 others, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

More than 800 Israelis have been killed and over 2,300 others wounded in the fighting, according to media reports and the Israeli Health Ministry. (Anadolu)