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

Mr. Robert Serry, on a reported violation of the humanitarian ceasefire  

Jerusalem, 1 August 2014

The Special Coordinator was informed by the Israeli authorities of a serious incident this morning after the start of the humanitarian ceasefire at 8 am, involving a tunnel behind IDF lines in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip. Two soldiers were reportedly killed, as well as a number of Palestinians.

The United Nations is not in a position to independently confirm these reports. However, if corroborated, this would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian ceasefire in place since 8 am this morning by Gazan militant factions, which should be condemned in the strongest terms.

Mr. Serry urges the Palestinian parties to last night's understanding to urgently reaffirm their commitment to the humanitarian ceasefire. He is deeply concerned regarding the serious consequences on the ground that could arise as a result of this incident. He will continue his efforts to contain the violence and the risk of renewed escalation.