UN chief renews calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

January 14th, 2009 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Jan 14 (DPA) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday renewed his calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and stressed that all UN member states are obliged to abide by Security Council resolutions.He made his appeal after his meeting with Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in Cairo where he arrived as fighting in Gaza entered its 19th day and the Palestinian death toll neared 1,000. In the second such strike this week, militants in Lebanon fired three Katyusha rockets into northern Israel Wednesday morning.

Israeli soldiers responded by firing 17 shells into southern Lebanon, Israeli and Lebanese sources said.

In a closed-door session, the UN Security Council Tuesday voiced its strong support for Ban’s trip and for regional efforts to implement last week’s UN Security Council Resolution 1860, which called for an immediate ceasefire and opening Gaza’s borders to humanitarian aid.

Both Hamas and Israel rejected the resolution.

Hamas said that they were not bound by the resolution because Palestine is not a UN member state.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said “Israel has never agreed that any outside body would determine its right to defend the security of its citizens”.

Over the next few days Ban is expected to visit Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Kuwait, where he will attend a summit of Arab leaders.

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