Spokesperson's Noon Briefing


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


DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Michèle Montas, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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**Secretary-General Statement on Gaza Violence

A statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the violence in Gaza:

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the resurgence of violence in Gaza, which has reportedly left at least 20 people dead.  The intensity of this latest round of fighting and the heightened public rhetoric marks a serious deterioration of the situation, placing the civilian population in Gaza in grave peril, jeopardizing the delivery of humanitarian assistance and threatening the future of the Palestinian Government and Authority.

The Secretary-General calls for the immediate cessation of all intra-Palestinian violence, including attacks against the Palestinian Authority and its institutions.  At this extremely difficult moment for the Palestinian people and their cause, the Secretary-General calls for all parties to give their full support to the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to restore law and order.”

The Secretary-General this morning spoke to President Abbas to convey his concerns.

** Gaza Update

As violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah loyalists enter their sixth day in the Gaza Strip, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) expressed its alarm at the number of people killed and injured, and has warned that delivery of humanitarian assistance is in serious jeopardy.

Three of UNRWA’s five food distribution centres and seven of UNRWA’s 18 health clinics were forced to close as fighting raged in their immediate vicinity and, in some cases, spilled over into the premises today.  John Ging, Director of UNRWA’s Operation in Gaza, said the Agency cannot deliver humanitarian aid in the crossfire, and said the Agency calls on all Palestinian leaders to use their influence to resolve their disputes through peaceful means.

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For information media • not an official record