18 January 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11380

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPEALS FOR IMMEDIATE END TO VIOLENCE ENGULFING GAZA,


REMINDS PARTIES OF OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General appeals urgently for an immediate end to the violence now engulfing Gaza and affecting communities in southern Israel.  He repeats his earlier calls for an immediate cessation of Palestinian sniper and rocket attacks into Israel, and for maximum restraint on the part of the Israel Defense Forces.  He reminds the parties, once again, of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law and not to endanger civilians.


Of particular concern today, in addition to the upsurge in violence, is the decision by Israel to close the crossing points in between Gaza and Israel used for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.  Such action cuts off the population from much-needed fuel supplies used to pump water and generate electricity to homes and hospitals.  If this situation endures, the closure will also cause further shortages of food, medical and relief items in the Gaza Strip.  The Secretary-General calls on Israel to refrain from actions that will harm the well-being of the general civilian population in Gaza.


The Secretary-General expresses his deep concern that the hostilities taking place on the ground will undermine the hopes for peace generated by the political process begun at Annapolis.


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For information media • not an official record