Israel and Hamas were on the verge of a serious conflict, the UN says

© AP Photo / Khalil Namenalala tower of Hamas in the town of Rafah exposed to Israeli artillery shelling. Archival photoIsrael and Hamas were on the verge of a serious conflict, the UN says© AP Photo / Khalil Hamra

An armed escalation between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement could lead to another serious conflict in the region, said Tuesday during a meeting of the UN Security Council, UN special coordinator for the middle East settlement Nikolay Mladenov.

«Tensions between Syria and Israel continues to grow, and last Saturday we were minutes away from another devastating confrontation between Israel and Hamas in Gaza,» said Mladenov.

According to him, was «made active efforts at preventive diplomacy from the United Nations and Egypt that both sides retreated from the brink of the fourth of potential military confrontation in the Gaza strip over the past decade».

Earlier, the Israeli army conducted massive bombardment of Palestinian targets in the Gaza strip in response to a «serious border incident», the responsibility for which is laid on the ruling in the enclave by Hamas. Palestinians in turn fired at Israel, three rockets, two of which were intercepted by missile defense system «Iron dome.»

One Israeli servicemen were killed in the crossfire. On the Palestinian side, the victims of the bombing were at least three people. According to Israeli figures, all of them are Hamas militants. Another Palestinian died in clashes with the military during the protests at the border.

The representative of the ruling in Gaza, Hamas movement Fawzi Barhoum told RIA Novosti on 21 July that the Palestinian factions and the Israeli military ceased fire in the Gaza strip after the intervention of foreign intermediaries, to restore the ceasefire.