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Ban Ki-moon calls for resumption of intra-Palestinian dialogue on national unity

Ban Ki-moon calls for resumption of intra-Palestinian dialogue on national unity

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all Palestinian parties to quickly resume dialogue for national unity after the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza to end a civil conflict that has seen more than 40 people killed in Palestinian-on-Palestinian violence over the past month.

Mr. Ban commended Egypt “for its continuing efforts to calm a volatile and worrying situation,” a statement issued by his spokesperson Michele Montas said. “He calls for all parties to abide by the terms of the ceasefire and to move quickly back to the process of national dialogue in the pursuit of national unity.”

In a monthly update on the Middle East last week, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari told the Security Council that the pendulum in the Occupied Palestinian Territory had swung between worsening civil conflict and renewed efforts to forge national unity, with factional tension reaching acute levels in mid-December and again in early January resulting in the deaths of 43 people.

Deplorable incidents included the killing of three children as they were being taken to school, a shootout between gunmen at the Rafah terminal as Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh returned from a regional tour, and a siege on the home of an official in Gaza, killing the official and several others, he said.

He added that internal violence had been accompanied by heightened and negative political rhetoric and threats, and the strengthening of factional forces.