Secretary-General expresses deep concern over Gaza violence

Secretary-General expresses deep concern over Gaza violence

Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he is “deeply concerned” at the resurgence of violence in Gaza, which has reportedly killed 20 people.

“The intensity of this latest round of fighting and the heightened public rhetoric marks a serious deterioration of the situation, placing the civilian population in Gaza in grave peril, jeopardizing the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and threatening the future of the Palestinian Government and Authority,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

He called for the immediate end to all intra-Palestinian violence, which includes attacks against the Palestinian Authority and its institutions.

“At this extremely difficult moment for the Palestinian people and their cause, the Secretary-General calls for all parties to give their full support to the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to restore law and order,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the main United Nations agency tasked with helping Palestinian refugees expressed its alarm at the number of people killed and injured as the clashes between Hamas and Fatah loyalists enter their sixth day.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) also cautioned that the violence is impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid.

“We are extremely concerned for the plight of the one million refugees who depend on UNRWA’s food assistance and medical serves,” said John Ging, the Director of the agency’s Operation in Gaza. “However, we cannot deliver food and medical services in the crossfire.”

Since 80 per cent of the refugee population relies entirely on aid and the economy has collapsed due to the international economic embargo, UNRWA noted that the violence is exacerbating an already dreadful humanitarian situation.

“We call on all Palestinian leaders to use their influence to resolve their disputes through peaceful means,” Mr. Ging said. “This senseless fighting must stop and must make way for dialogue and negotiation. The civilian population of the Gaza Strip demand it and deserve it.”