UN chief urgently appeals for end to violence in Gaza and Israel

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Ban Ki-moon

The continued firing of rockets on Israel from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza are dangerous and must stop, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In a statement on Friday, the Secretary-General warns that a new cycle of bloodshed will make neither Israelis nor Palestinians more secure.

UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky says the Secretary-General plans to go to the region shortly as part of his efforts to push for an end to the violence.

"The Secretary-General is extremely concerned about the continued violence in Gaza and Israel, and deeply worried by the rising cost in terms of civilian lives. He urgently appeals to all concerned to do everything under their command to stop this dangerous escalation and restore calm. Rocket attacks are unacceptable and must stop at once. Israel must exercise maximum restraint. The Secretary-General's paramount concern is for the safety and well being of all civilians." (Duration: 29")

The Secretary-General is urging all sides to the conflict to respect their obligations under international law to protect civilians.

At least 23 Palestinians and three Israelis are reported to have been killed since Israel assassinated a military leader of Hamas in Gaza on Wednesday,

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28″

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