HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

BY MICHELE MONTAS

SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

U.N. HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Thursday, May 17, 2007

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GAZA: INTERNAL VIOLENCE DOWN IN GAZA,  BUT PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI VIOLENCE ON THE RISE

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that, following the Palestinian ceasefire that took effect at 8 p.m. yesterday, internal violence has calmed in Gaza. However, there has been an escalation in Palestinian-Israeli violence in the Gaza Strip.
 
There are some signs of improvement regarding civilian movement and the delivery of services throughout the Gaza Strip as the extent and intensity of violence has abated somewhat. The situation in Gaza City, however, remains more volatile, OCHA says.

Two schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), hosting about 3,000 pupils in Rafah, came under fire earlier this afternoon as a result of ongoing armed clashes between Hamas and Fatah gunmen in the area. The children were forced to congregate on the first floor of the school for their own safety pending evacuation.

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