HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTÓNIO GUTERRES
MONDAY, 6 MAY 2019

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MIDDLE EAST
For the past year, the United Nations has been working hard to prevent the situation in Gaza from escalating and to provide humanitarian relief to the population. The latest escalation over the weekend was the worst since the 2014 conflict. Fortunately, following a series of engagements with Egypt, Qatar, and all concerned parties, we were able to contain it, based on understandings on the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the livelihoods of people, with no violence at the Gaza perimeter fence. It is now up to the parties to implement these understandings.

If the calm is sustained, the United Nations believes that we will be able to discuss longer-term arrangements to improve the situation and provide relief for the people of Gaza by easing the closures, and support for the reconciliation process. Both are critical to finding a political solution to the problems of Gaza. The UN Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, will be going to Cairo tomorrow to continue his discussions with relevant parties.

Over the weekend, you will have seen that the Secretary-General condemned in the strongest terms the launching of rockets from Gaza into Israel, particularly the targeting of civilian population centres. He urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint, immediately de-escalate and return to the understandings of the past few months.

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