Ban appeals for extension of humanitarian pause, reiterates call for 7 day truce in Gaza

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Photo/Mark Garten

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly urged the parties fighting in the Gaza strip to extend a 12-hour humanitarian pause that was broadly observed on Saturday.

His Special Envoy for the Middle East, Robert Serry, is involved in brokering an extension of the humanitarian pause for an additional extendable period of 24 hours.

The extension would allow vital humanitarian efforts to continue, including UN relief operations.

Civilians could bury their dead, flee to safer quarters, stock up on food and water and continue overdue emergency repairs on water and power lines.

According to media reports, Palestinian militants fired three rockets from Gaza into Israel despite the proposed extension.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General has once again appealed to all parties to declare a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

It would help open the door for a renewed political process which is the only way of achieving durable peace, said Mr Ban.

The UN Chief reiterated that any peace effort that didn't tackle the root causes of the crisis would do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence.

The blockade of and the closure on Gaza must end, he reiterated.

There must be security based on mutual recognition, Mr Ban underscored, and there must be a viable two-state solution by which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28”

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