UN Security Council hails Gaza truce

January 22nd, 2009 - 9:16 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Jan 22 (Xinhua) The UN Security Council has welcomed the Gaza ceasefire between Islamic Hamas militants and Israel, and called for making it into a durable truce with guarantees to prevent arms smuggling and opening border crossings.”Members of the Security Council welcome the ceasefire in Gaza and the international and regional partners, in particular the Egyptian initiative, in helping bring this about,” a security council statement said Wednesday.

The statement read out by French UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, who holds the presidency of the 15-member Security Council for January, also stressed the need for full implementation of resolution 1860 and called for the ceasefire to be durable.

The ceasefire should be “durable, fully respected by all parties, for the provision of arrangements and guarantees to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition to Gaza, and to ensure the sustained reopening of the crossing points”, said the statement.

The Security Council adopted this statement, proposed by Britain and France, after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the council on his just-concluded Middle East tour, which has taken him to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.

“Members re-emphasized that only a two-state solution, with an independent and viable Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors, could bring peace to both Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement added.

The Security Council passed the resolution 1860 Jan 8, but it was remained unheeded by Israelis and Hamas militants until the unilateral Israeli announcement of the ceasefire Saturday.

The 22-day Israeli offensive against Hamas militants left more than 1,300 Palestinians killed and more than 5,400 others injured.

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