Ban welcomes Israel's decision to halt Gaza offensive

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the news that Israel will halt its three-week military offensive in Gaza, and stressed that the immediate priority now is to ensure humanitarian access for the 1.5 million people living in the Strip.

Ban urges unilateral Israeli ceasefire in Gaza meets with Palestinian leaders

On the third day of his intensive diplomatic mission to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon conferred today with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, and called on Israel to unilaterally cease hostilities.

Ban says elements to end Gaza violence in place; voices ‘outrage’ as UN hit again

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he believed the elements for an end to the violence in Gaza, which has claimed over 1,000 lives and is now in its 20th day, are in place, even as he expressed “outrage” over the latest shelling of United Nations premises in the Strip.

Senior official gives eyewitness account of Israeli shelling of UN Gaza compound

At about 10 a.m. local, the first Israeli shell, from a tank or artillery, crashed into the United Nations main centre in Gaza City today, an hour after 700 Palestinians fleeing intense fighting crowded into the compound and UN officials informed Israeli liaison officers of the dangers of shelling in the area and that shrapnel was coming into the buildings.

Ban launches Mideast ceasefire mission as reported Gaza death toll tops 1,000

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began an intensive mission today to try to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan, as the reported death toll from Israel’s 19-day offensive against Hamas topped 1,000.

Effect of conflict on Gaza’s children ‘devastating,’ says UN rights monitoring body

The United Nations body monitoring a key global treaty enshrining the rights of children voiced its deep concern today at the impact of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has killed or injured hundreds of young people, and warned that the effects of recent events on an entire generation of children will be severe.

Please secure ceasefire, UN Gaza official tells Ban on eve of Mideast mission

A senior United Nations official in Gaza warned today that “tragically the horror continues,” with 19 children reported killed and 52 injured in just the last 24 hours of Israeli-Hamas fighting, even as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Security Council on his upcoming trip to the region to speed up diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire.

UN human rights body to send fact-finding mission to Gaza

The United Nations Human Rights Council today adopted a resolution strongly condemning the ongoing Israeli military operation in Gaza, and decided to dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations committed in the territory.

Israel should allow media into Gaza to report on war, UN agency says

The United Nations agency entrusted with defending the freedom of the press, condemning the fatal wounding of a journalist on the first day of the Israeli offensive against Gaza, today called on Israel to allow local and international media professionals to report on events in the area.

Gaza: UN official reports horrific hospital scenes of casualties

Appalled that fighting was still continuing in Gaza despite the Security Council’s ceasefire resolution, senior United Nations officials said today they were horrified at the human costs amid reports that over 40 per cent of the nearly 900 Palestinians killed in the Israeli offensive, and almost half of the 3,860 wounded, were women and children.