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UN Chief Welcomes Gaza Ceasefire Announcement Between Israel And Hamas


The UN chief has welcomed the ceasefire declared
between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas,
following 11 days of rocket and air attacks, which have left
more than 240 reportedly dead and thousands injured, the
majority in the occupied Palestinian enclave of
Gaza.

Secretary-General António Guterres
made a
statement
to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, a
few minutes before the negotiated ceasefire was due to take
effect.

Secretary-General
@antonioguterres
has welcomed the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel after 11
days of deadly hostilities.

He calls
on both sides to observe the ceasefire.
pic.twitter.com/ZPqvcXCufT


UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson)
May
20, 2021

“I welcome the
ceasefire between Gaza and Israel, after 11 days of deadly
hostilities”, he said, extending his deepest condolences
to all the victims of the violence, and their loved ones,
across Israel and the occupied Palestinian
territories.

According to latest news reports, at
least 232 Palestinians, including more than 60 children have
been killed since violence erupted across the Gaza-southern
Israeli border on Monday. At least 12 were killed in Israel,
as Hamas and other extremist groups unleashed indiscriminate
rocket fire, sometimes deep into Israeli
territory.

Close coordination

“I commend
Egypt and Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close
coordination with the UN, to help restore calm to Gaza and
Israel”, the UN chief added, calling on all sides to
observe the ceasefire.

Mr. Guterres said it was
essential for the wider international community to work with
the UN, to develop “an integrated, robust package of
support for a swift, sustainable reconstruction and
recovery, that supports the Palestinian people and
strengthens their institutions.”

Tackle root
causes

He stressed that leaders in Israel and
Palestine had a responsibility “beyond the restoration of
calm, to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes
of the conflict.”

He described Gaza as an
“integral part of the future Palestinian State” saying
no effort should be spared to bring about “real national
reconciliation that ends the division.” Hamas has
controlled the enclave since winning elections in 2006 and
driving our the rival Fatah faction, which holds power in
the West Bank.

Invested in peace

Mr. Guterres
underscored the UN’s “deep commitment” to working with
Israelis and Palestinians, and with all international and
regional partners, including through the Middle East
Quartet, “to return to the path of meaningful negotiations
to end the occupation and allow for the realization of a
two-State solution on the basis of the 1967 lines, UN
resolutions, international law and mutual
agreements.”

Asked what he thought the next step
should be, the Secretary-General said that stabilizing the
ceasefire was the immediate
priority.

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