UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday condemned in the strongest terms the breach of the humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
In a statement issued here by his spokesperson, Ban expressed his grave disappointment at the return to hostilities, and reminded both sides of their responsibility not to let the situation escalate.
"The hopes of the people in Gaza for a better future and the hopes of the people in Israel for sustainable security rest on the talks in Cairo," he noted in the statement.
"The Secretary-General calls on the delegations to live up to this expectation and urges the parties to reach an immediate understanding on a durable ceasefire which also addresses the underlying issues afflicting Gaza," said the statement.
An Egyptian brokered humanitarian ceasefire, which was to expire at midnight local time, collapsed earlier in the day, with Hamas firing dozens of rockets at Israel and Israel responding by launching air strikes.
The resumption of hostilities shut down truce talks in Cairo that seek a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement who dominates Gaza, after more than a month of conflicts.
Several temporary truces have been held over the past two weeks, some of which were breached, that were repeatedly extended, as both sides discuss their demands in order to achieve a deal that would end the offensive, which started on July 8 and claimed the lives of 2000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.