Statement by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,

Mr. Robert Serry, calling for an extension of the humanitarian pause


Jerusalem, 26 July 2014

Following yesterday’s call by the United Nations Secretary-General from Cairo, together with US Secretary of State Kerry, Foreign Minister Shoukry of Egypt, and Secretary-General El Arabi of the League of Arab States, the Special Coordinator is heartened that a twelve-hour humanitarian pause is largely respected today, bringing much-needed respite to civilians in Gaza.  

The Special Coordinator is involved, together with other stakeholders, in brokering an extension of the humanitarian pause for an additional extendable period of 24 hours, to allow vital humanitarian efforts to continue, including UN relief operations. It will give civilians a chance to retrieve and bury their dead, flee to safer premises, resupply with vital commodities and services, and continue overdue emergency repairs on water and energy infrastructure.  

The Special Coordinator calls on all parties to respond positively to his call in the remaining time, in the interest of civilians in Gaza and Israel. He hopes that ongoing diplomatic efforts can build on the pause in order to arrive at a durable cease fire and address underlying causes for the instability in Gaza.