19 January 2009
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12050

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

SECRETARY-GENERAL RELIEVED BY ISRAELíS DECISION TO CEASE HOSTILITIES;


SAYS SHOULD BE FIRST STEP TOWARDS DURABLE CEASEFIRE

 


The following statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was issued in Beirut, Saturday, 17 January:


I am relieved that the Israeli Government has decided to cease hostilities as of midnight GMT.


This should be the first step towards establishing a durable and sustainable ceasefire leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, as called for by the Security Council resolution 1860. †Hamas must stop firing rockets now.


Urgent humanitarian access for the people of Gaza is the immediate priority.


The United Nations is ready to act.


Any durable solution must include the reopening of the crossings and the prevention of illicit trafficking in arms.


There has been too much suffering, for too long.† We have to end it now.


We must begin to help people rebuild their lives.


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For information media • not an official record