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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at press encounter with H.E. Mr. Reuben Rivlin, President of the State of Israel

Jerusalem, Israel , 20 October 2015

Thank you for receiving me so warmly and at such short notice.

My visit reflects the sense of global alarm at the dangerous escalation in violence between Israelis and Palestinians.  I am here to encourage and support all efforts to lower tensions and prevent the situation from spinning out of control.

I want to express my condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims of the hostilities and terrorist attacks.  No society should have to live in fear.  No society can afford to see its youth suffer in hopelessness.

If we do not act fast, the dynamics on the ground may only get worse, with serious repercussions in and beyond Israel and Palestine.

It is not too late to avoid a broader crisis.  In my meetings today and tomorrow with the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, I will be appealing to all to take concerted steps to limit new incidents on both sides. Violence only begets violence.  We must not allow extremists on either side, or those who think violence is the answer, to further fuel the conflict.

Beyond the immediate tensions, what is missing is the resolve to restore a political horizon for talks, and a political process that delivers real results and hope.  Violence only undermines the legitimate Palestinian aspirations for statehood and the longing of Israelis for security.

The status quo is only making things worse.  This conflict has gone on for far too long.    We must, for the future of our children, turn back from this dangerous abyss, safeguard the two-state solution and lead people back onto the road towards peace.

The United Nations, and I as Secretary-General, will continue to support all efforts to create the conditions for a return to meaningful negotiations and a just, comprehensive and lasting peace.

Thank you.


Off-the-Cuff on 20 October 2015