New York

24 December 2013

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on recent violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank

The Secretary-General is concerned about escalating violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. He condemns the killing of an Israeli civilian today as a result of cross border fire from Gaza, and the bus bombing near Tel Aviv on Sunday. He also deplores the death of a young child in Gaza from Israeli retaliatory raids today as well as a number of Palestinian civilian casualties since Friday. He extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

The Secretary-General rejects all actions targeting civilians and calls on all concerned to exert maximum restraint to prevent another cycle of bloodshed. It is also essential to preserve the ceasefire understanding of November 2012 and restore calm.

The Secretary-General continues to emphasize the need for the Israeli and Palestinian sides to remain steadfast in their commitment to achieving the two-state solution in order to end the violence permanently.