Ban voices concern after deadly violence in Gaza and southern Israel

30 October 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern today at the recent escalation of violence and bloodshed in both southern Israel and the Gaza Strip that has reportedly left around a dozen people dead.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban condemned rocket fire launched from inside Gaza, which has killed an Israeli civilian in the country''s south, and called for its complete cessation.

He also urged Israel to exercise maximum restraint after the country''s military forces reportedly killed 10 alleged militants in Gaza.

"He hopes that the parties will fully respect the calm as brokered by Egypt," the statement noted, referring to a reported ceasefire organized by Egypt.

Mr. Ban added that the Office of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, headed by Robert Serry, remained actively engaged with the Israelis and Palestinians in supporting efforts to end the violence.

The deadly attacks have taken place just weeks after Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a prisoner exchange that senior United Nations officials said they hoped would lead the two sides to make further hard decisions towards an eventual peace agreement to end the long-running conflict.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Resolve shown in Middle East prisoner exchange must extend to peace talks – UN

The United Nations political chief today called on Israel and the Palestinians to show the kind of resolve to take the kind of difficult decisions seen in the recent prisoner exchange in their search for a lasting peace.