UN Security Council urges immediate end to Israeli-Palestinian violence

March 2nd, 2008 - 3:05 pm ICT by admin  

United Nations, March 2 (Xinhua) The United Nations Security Council ended its emergency session on the situation in Gaza early Sunday, calling for an immediate end to violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The five-hour session was called at the request of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas after Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians, including many women and children in the Gaza Strip.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, which holds the council’s rotating presidency, read a “summary” of the discussions among representatives of the 15 member states.

“Members of the Security Council are deeply concerned about the loss of civilian lives in southern Israel and Gaza and condemn the escalation of violence that has taken place,” Churkin said.

During the session, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate end to hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, condemning Palestinian rocket attacks and Israel’s “disproportionate and excessive use of force.”

Earlier, Mo’aweya Hassanein, chief of emergency and ambulance services in the Palestinian health ministry, told reporters that the Israeli army Saturday killed 68 Palestinians and wounded 200, “the highest ever (daily) death and casualties toll in the Gaza Strip” since fighting erupted in 2000.

Churkin said members of the Security Council “underscore the need for all parties to immediately cease all acts of violence,” stressing that “these acts must not be allowed to deter the political process…aimed at establishing two states — Israel and Palestine — living side by side in peace and security.”

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