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

 


Middle East: UN Chief Welcomes Temporary Ceasefire

Middle East: UN Chief Welcomes Temporary Ceasefire, Urges Longer-Term Agreement


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to journalists at the Security Council stakeout on the situation in Gaza, in July 2014. UN Photo/Mark Garten

10 August 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today's announcement by Egypt that the Israelis and the Palestinians have accepted another 72 hours' unconditional humanitarian ceasefire and urged all concerned to avoid steps that would lead to a resumption of violence.

Mr. Ban expressed “his strong hope that this will give the two sides, under Egyptian auspices, another chance to agree on a durable ceasefire for the benefit of all civilian populations and as a starting point to address the underlying grievances on both sides,” according to a statement from his spokesperson.

He added that the United Nations stands ready to assist in the implementation of an agreement that would consolidate peace and allow for much-needed reconstruction and development of Gaza.

Mr. Ban's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, has been in Cairo working in support of Egyptian efforts to halt the fighting.

The latest ceasefire began at 12:01 am local time on Monday. It follows a three-day ceasefire that ended on Friday.

The previous ceasefire allowed UN and humanitarian partners to restock food, water and other supplies, and to survey the damages.

At least 1,948 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict, along with 67 Israelis, according to figures cited by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In addition, some 425,000 people are seeking shelter either in UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facilities, government shelters or with host families.

Some 11,855 housing units in Gaza have been destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli attacks, and another 36,000 have suffered damage, according to the latest OCHA “Situation Report”. The UN agency estimates that reconstruction and repair costs of these houses will be $410 million.

UNRWA has said it is in a period of multiple and rapid response, working with other UN agencies and the Palestinian Authority on a reconstruction plan.

“We estimate that 70 per cent of all those affected by the housing crisis are refugees and we are responsible for them,” spokesperson Chris Gunness said in an email on Saturday.

There is a need for a broad range of services: rubble removal, reconstruction, repairs, rental subsidies while homes are rebuilt, health including psycho-social support, food, cash and education, Mr. Gunness said.

He added that there is a question of repairing and rebuilding public infrastructure in refugee camps, in particular water, sewage and electricity.

“This is an urgent priority,” the spokesperson said. “Without it people simply cannot go home.”

Mr. Gunness also spoke out about the ongoing blockade again Gaza, stressing that the area has been “leveled” and that “we cannot rebuild it with our hands tied behind our backs.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news