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UN voices concern about escalation between Lebanon, Israel

NEW YORK, June 14 (KUNA) - The United Nations on Friday expressed deep concern about the military escalation between Lebanon and the Israeli occupation, warning that it could turn into a full-scale confrontation.
"We remain very concerned by the recent escalation across the Blue Line and beyond," Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a press briefing.
Haq recalled that the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert had also conveyed her deep concern at?the escalating situation across the Blue Line in her engagements this past week with key Lebanese and international interlocutors.
She pointed out that Hennis-Plasschaert called on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any action or statement that could further fuel tensions. She also stressed the urgency of ensuring the protection of civilians.
Haq pointed out that the UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) remain on the ground conducting their mandated operational activities and working at all levels to de-escalate tensions.
"Since October, we have seen too many lives lost, families uprooted, and neighbourhoods destroyed. The danger of a wider conflagration is very real," she cautioned.
"We continue to engage with the parties and urge all actors to avoid hostile actions, return to a cessation of hostilities under the framework of Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006), and work towards a diplomatic solution." (end) ast.ibi