World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Ban urges Israel, Palestinians to find common ground

Middle East: Appealing for ceasefire, Ban urges Israel, Palestinians to find common ground

10 July 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warned the United Nations Security Council of the “risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza” and made an urgent appeal for maximum restraint, saying his “paramount concern is the safety and well-being of all civilians, no matter where they are.”

“Today, we face the risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza, with the threat of a ground offensive still palpable – and preventable only if Hamas stops rocket firing,” the Secretary-General told the urgently-called meeting of the Security Council Thursday morning on the Middle East, which he told reporters yesterday that he had requested.

The Secretary-General said over the past several days, the Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired more than 550 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel, and the Israeli Defence Forces have launched more than 500 airstrikes on Gaza.

“It is now more urgent than ever to try to find common ground for a return to calm and a cease-fire understanding,” he said.

“Once again civilians are paying the price for the continuation of conflict,” Mr. Ban said. “My paramount concern is the safety and well-being of all civilians, no matter where they are. It pains me – and it should pain us all – to be reliving circumstances that are all too reminiscent of the two most recent wars in Gaza.”

He said “the excessive use of force and endangering of civilian lives are also intolerable. It is unacceptable for citizens on both sides to permanently live in fear of the next aerial attack.”

The UN chief said he has been engaging with world leaders, including the King of Saudi Arabia, the Emir of Qatar, the President of Egypt, the heads of the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the United States Secretary of State and European Union High Representative and other regional and world leaders.

“I have also spoken to Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Abbas of Palestine,” he said. “I called on both sides to exercise maximum restraint, show statesmanship and to weigh the risks of further escalation.”

Saying the current situation is one of the most critical tests the region has faced in recent years, the Secretary-General said: “More than ever, the situation calls for bold thinking and creative ideas. We must strive to restore, not only calm today, but a political horizon for tomorrow.”

“The parties themselves, regional partners and the international community must do everything possible to resume meaningful negotiations towards a viable two-State solution,” he said.

Israeli-Palestinian violence has flared in the wake of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in late June and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem last week. These acts shattered a period of relative calm and were widely condemned by the United Nations and the international community.

The Secretary-General told reporters at UN Headquarters yesterday that the United Nations is ready to rapidly respond to emerging humanitarian needs, and noted that the Organization is already working closely with Palestinian and Israeli authorities and other partners, including the Palestinian Red Crescent.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UNHCR: More Than 300 Die In Boat Tragedies On Mediterranean

The past few days have been the deadliest this year for people making irregular crossings on the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe More>>

UN: Egyptian Crossing Used To Bring Food Aid To Gaza
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) successfully crossed from Egypt into the Gaza Strip today, carrying enough food to feed around 150,000 people for five days More>>

ALSO:

Extended Cease Fire: Gaza Celebrates!!!!

Images and video from Gaza.Scoop - Julie Webb Pullman in Gaza. Gazans took to the streets tonight to celebrate their victory in achieving the end of hostilities and the lifting of the illegal seven-year siege. Whatever tomorrow may bring, tonight was a time to rejoice! More>>

ALSO:


Iraq: Killing Of Dozens Of Sunni Worshippers In Eastern Iraq

22 August 2014 – Condemning in the strongest terms the reported attack on a mosque in eastern Iraq, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all Iraqi authorities to ensure that the attack is properly investigated and its perpetrators held to account. More>>

ALSO:

  • UN Watch - UN Urgent Session on Iraq, Demands "Concrete Outcomes"
  • UNICEF: Honours Life, Tireless Work Of Richard Attenborough

    Film producer and director Sir Richard Attenborough was introduced as the new Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) on 28 October 1987. UN Photo/Milton Grant More>>

    UN: Flight Restrictions Hamper Ability To Battle Ebola

    UNICEF and partners visit a crowded market in Conakry, Guinea, to explain to vendors how they can protect themselves and their families from Ebola. Photo: UNICEF Guinea More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news