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A demolished six-story building in Al-Rimal neighborhood that was bombed by Israeli aircraft in raids in Gaza. Photo: Momen Faiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Thursday he is "deeply concerned" by Israel's continued demolitions and evictions in the West Bank, calling "all settlement activities" illegal under international law. 

Why it matters: Violence between Israel and Hamas erupted after Israeli forces began forcibly evicting Palestinian families during the last days of Ramadan. The crisis has killed at least 208 Palestinians and 12 people in Israel — including at least 61 Palestinian children and two children in Israel, per the UN.

What he's saying: "The fighting has left thousands of Palestinians homeless, and forced over fifty thousand people to leave their homes and seek shelter in UNRWA schools, mosques, and other places with little access to water, food, hygiene or health services," he said at the UN General Assembly meeting.

  • "Airstrikes have damaged several hospitals, which were already short of supplies due to years of debilitating closures exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic."
    • "If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza," he said.
    • "I urge the Israeli authorities to abide by the laws governing armed conflict, including the proportionate use of force," he added.
  • Guterres also condemned Hamas' rockets, which have "reached as far as Tel Aviv and its suburbs," and warned that "this conflict creates an environment that is ripe for exploitation by radicals and extremists."
  • He ended by reiterating the need to allow for a two-state solution, adding that the UN officials will undertake diplomatic efforts within the region and with international partners to secure an end to the violence.

Go deeper

Aug 27, 2021 - World

Israeli PM presented Biden with "death by a thousand cuts" Iran strategy

Bennett and Biden. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney-Pool/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett presented President Biden in their meeting today with what Israeli officials described as “a death by a thousand cuts” strategy against Iran.

Why it matters: Besides striking up a personal relationship, Bennett's primary goal in his first meeting with Biden was to express his sense of urgency about the significant progress Iran was making in its nuclear program, and Israel's new government conducted an Iran policy review prior to the visit.

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has frozen a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.

45 mins ago - Science

Blue Origin announces plan to develop commercial space station

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin on Monday unveiled plans to develop a commercial space station called "Orbital Reef."

Why it matters: The private space station, which will be nearly as large as the International Space Station, would be the first of its kind and comes amid growing interest in the private space industry.