With militants in the Gaza Strip stepping up rocket attacks against Israel, and Israeli airstrikes on the enclave intensifying, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that he is ‘extremely concerned” by the escalating violence, and reiterated his call on all actors to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further civilian casualties and overall destabilization.
“The Secretary-General condemns the recent multiple rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. These indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas must stop,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson in New York.
Israeli-Palestinian violence has flared in the wake of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in late June and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem last week.
“The Secretary-General is extremely concerned at the dangerous escalation of violence, which has already resulted in multiple Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of Israeli operations against Gaza,” said today’s statement.
Mr. Ban reiterated his call on all actors to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further civilian casualties and overall destabilization, and added: “It is imperative now to restore calm. The unsustainable situation in Gaza will also need to be addressed in its political, security, humanitarian and development dimensions as part of a comprehensive solution.”