UN rights chief expresses support for US-proposed Gaza ceasefire deal

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk on Tuesday expressed his support for a U.S.-proposed ceasefire deal for the conflict in Gaza, describing the situation in the Palestinian territory as "beyond catastrophic".

Turk said norms and standards on the conduct of war had been brutally violated in Gaza, and any initiative that can lead to an end in hostilities was welcomed.

"We can only hope that is achieved because of the humanitarian situation ... we don't even know how to describe it anymore. It is beyond precarious. It is beyond catastrophic," Turk told a press conference at the end of a two-day visit to Malaysia.

The United States said on Monday it wants the nine-member U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution backing the proposal outlined by President Joe Biden to end fighting between Israel forces and Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the U.S., France, Britain, China or Russia to pass.

(Reporting by Danial Azhar; Writing by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Martin Petty)