News by region: Middle East


Turkey: In call with Foreign Minister, Ban seeks update on current probe into attempted coup

27 July – In a telephone call with the Turkish Foreign Minister today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sought an update on current investigations and measures to hold those responsible for the attempted coup to account, and reiterated his expectation that Turkey adhere to its international human rights obligations.


Yemen: Amid rising tensions in Taiz, senior UN official calls for humanitarian pause

27 July – Extremely concerned by reports of rising tensions in Yemen’s Taizz governorate, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the crisis-gripped country has called for a “humanitarian pause” to protect civilians.


Syria: UN envoy aims for peace talks to resume in late August

26 July – The United Nations envoy mediating a resolution to the five-year crisis in Syria said today he aims to convene a new round of intra-Syrian peace talks towards the end of August, and expressed hope that the United States and Russia would make “concrete progress” in order to improve the atmosphere for the resumption of the discussions.


Temperature in Kuwait hits 54 Celsius, sets possible record amid Middle East heatwave – UN

26 July – The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations specialized agency, will set up a committee to examine whether a 54 degrees Celsius temperature recently recorded in Kuwait, has set the new highest temperature for Asia, as well as for the entire Eastern hemisphere.


Recent attacks on hospitals in Aleppo 'can amount to war crimes' – UNICEF

26 July – The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reiterated today that attacks on health facilities are a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and can amount to war crimes, in response to the recent airstrikes on four hospitals and a blood bank in eastern Aleppo city in Syria.


UN envoy condemns Israel's decision to continue settlement expansion in occupied West Bank

25 July – The United Nations senior official coordinating efforts toward the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today strongly condemned the recent decision by Israeli authorities to advance plans to build some 770 housing units in the settlement of Gilo, located on occupied Palestinian land between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem.


Security Council extends mandate of UN Iraq Mission for one year

25 July – The United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for another year, until 31 July 2017.


Syria: UN aid chief calls for weekly, 48-hour humanitarian truce in Aleppo

25 July – Citing the alarming humanitarian conditions across Syria, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator today urged fresh momentum and action to protect civilians and ensure sustained aid access “before it's too late,” including through the establishment of a weekly, 48-hour pause of the fighting in eastern Aleppo, where food supplies are expected to run out next month.


UN agency condemns Israel's closures in Hebron as 'collective punishment'

25 July – The United Nations relief agency charged with the well-being of Palestinian refugees has said that a closure imposed by Israeli authorities in Hebron district is creating serious challenges for humanitarian access, including the delivery of medical supplies, the removal of refuse, and the daily movement of the agency's staff working inside refugee camp.


Lebanon: Security Council calls for presidential and parliamentary polls by next May

22 July – Expressing deep concern over the two-year-long vacancy in the presidency of Lebanon, the United Nations Security Council today urged Lebanese leaders to urgently convene a parliamentary session and called on all parties to negotiate a compromise agreement in order to end the country's political and institutional crisis.