Top U.S. general warns of broader destabilization risk from Israel-Palestinian hostilities

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley awaits arrival of newly confirmed U.S. Defense Secretary Austin at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. military officer, Army General Mark Milley, warned on Monday of the risk of broader destabilization beyond Gaza without a de-escalation in the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants.

After more than a week of fighting, Milley noted Israel's actions were in self-defense but also cautioned that the levels of violence were such that "it's in no one's interest to continue fighting."

"My assessment is that you risk broader destabilization and you risk a whole series of negative consequences if the fighting continues," Milley told reporters shortly before landing in Brussels for talks with NATO allies.

"So in my view, I think de-escalation is a smart course of action at this point for all parties concerned."

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Chris Reese)