New York

18 November 2012

Statement by the Secretary-General on the situation in the Middle East

I am deeply saddened by the reported deaths of more than ten members of the Dalu family, including women and children, and additional Palestinian civilians killed as a result of the ongoing violence in the Gaza strip.  I am also alarmed by the continuing firing of rockets against Israeli towns, which has killed several Israeli civilians.  This must stop. I strongly urge the parties to cooperate with all efforts led by Egypt to reach an immediate cease fire. Any further escalation will inevitably increase the suffering of the affected civilian populations and must be avoided.

I am heading to the region to appeal personally for ending the violence and contribute to ongoing efforts to that end.