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UN chief urges Israelis, Hamas to renew humanitarian truce in Gaza

English.news.cn   2014-07-28 21:49:04

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged the Israelis and Hamas to renew a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and called on those responsible to "step back from provoking or inflicting yet more tragic violence on civilians there."

"The secretary-general calls on the parties to renew a humanitarian pause in Gaza and reiterates his demand for a durable ceasefire that could set the ground for the start of comprehensive negotiations," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman.

"Following a largely observed 12-hour humanitarian pause on July 26, the secretary-general called on all parties to prolong the suspension of the fighting for an additional extendable period of 24 hours to allow vital humanitarian efforts to continue, including relief operations," the statement said.

"The parties have expressed serious interest in this request but have not yet agreed on the timing of its implementation," it said.

A Palestinian was killed and 10 others were injured Sunday after Israeli war jets resumed airstrikes on Gaza, where a UN-proposed humanitarian ceasefire for 42 hours between Israel and Hamas collapsed.

On Sunday afternoon, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in an email press statement that Hamas and the Palestinian factions agreed to accept the UN-proposed ceasefire for 24 hours, but Israel rejected it.

Ban's statement came just hours after the UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement in the early hours of Monday to voice its "grave concern" about the situation in the Middle East, and issue an urgent appeal to Israel and Hamas for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, where more than 1,000 people on both sides were killed over the past weeks.

"The Security Council expresses strong support for the call by the international partners and the secretary-general of the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, and they urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond," the 15-nation council said in the statement.

The secretary-general said he welcomed the Security Council's strong support for his call for a humanitarian ceasefire.

"As people around the world mark Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan and a time for overcoming differences, the secretary-general calls on parties to build on the current calm," said the statement issued by Ban's spokesman.

"With hundreds of Palestinians already killed in Gaza and horrifying levels of physical destruction, he urges those responsible to step back from provoking or inflicting yet more tragic violence on civilians there," the statement said.

On July 8, Israel started a large-scale operation on the Gaza Strip, where 1,030 Palestinians and 43 Israelis have been killed and more than 6,000 Palestinians injured.

Efforts to reach a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants have so far failed, where Hamas movement conditions any truce with ending seven years of an Israeli blockade imposed on the coastal enclave.

"The secretary-general stresses that Israelis and Palestinians have a responsibility beyond ceasing the ongoing hostilities to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict," the statement said.

"This is the only way finally to break the seemingly endless cycle of violence and suffering," it said.

"That means an end to the blockade of Gaza and ultimately to the nearly half century of occupation," the statement said. "It also means security for Israel."

Ban "urges the parties to heed his call and that of the international community for the sake of present and future generations of Palestinians and Israelis," the statement added.


Editor: yanting
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