UN chief calls for end to Gaza violence

December 28th, 2008 - 4:50 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Dec 28 (Xinhua) UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon Saturday called for an immediate halt to the violence in Gaza and southern Israel.Ban said in a statement that he is “deeply alarmed” by the worsening situation in Gaza and southern Israel, and called for “an immediate halt to all violence”.

While recognising Israel’s security concerns regarding the continued firing of rockets from Gaza, the UN chief reiterated Israel’s obligation to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law, and condemned excessive use of force leading to the killing and injuring of civilians.

“He condemns the ongoing rocket attacks by Palestinian militants and is deeply distressed that repeated calls on Hamas to end the attacks have gone unheeded,” the statement added.

“The secretary-general reiterates his previous calls for humanitarian supplies to be allowed into Gaza to aid the distressed civilian population,” the statement said. “He is making immediate contact with regional and international leaders to quickly end the violence.”

Israeli warplanes pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory Saturday, killing at least 200 people and wounding many more.

The bloodshed took place at a time when the international community, including the Quartet which groups the UN, the European Union, the US and Russia, is making efforts to end the decades old Israel-Palestine conflict.

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