Concerned about the ongoing crisis in Gaza, the United Nations Security Council on Saturday called for a ceasefire between the Israelis and Palestinians and for the protection of civilians.
In a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana of Rwanda, which holds the Council's rotating presidency for July, the 15-member body expressed serious concern regarding the crisis and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides.
“The Security Council members called for de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, and reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire,” Mr. Gasana said, referring to the Egyptian-brokered agreement that ended eight days of violence in Gaza and Israel nearly two years ago.
“The Security Council members further called for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”
The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate, according to today's update from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which reported that communities in the enclave “continue to suffer as heavy airstrikes, death, injuries and damage to infrastructure continues to take its toll on everyday life.”
In today's statement, Council members expressed their support for the resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians with the aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on the two-State solution.