Ban: military action will not increase Israel's stability, security

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UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

While demanding the end of all rocket attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the UN Secretary-General also warned Israel that military action will not increase Israel's stability and security in the long term.

Mr Ban Ki-moon made the remarks in Israel on Tuesday, the third leg of his Middle East tour which aims to secure a cease-fire.

He also condemned Hamas' use of civilian sites such as schools, hospitals and other civilian facilities, for military purposes.

Over the last three days, Mr Ban met leaders in Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt as well as with Palestinian President Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry as part of a concerted international effort for urgent action.

The UN Chief said he fully shared and appreciated Israel's legitimate security concerns and right to protect its country and citizens.

Israel is a strong and democratic country, Mr Ban said as he urged its leadership to demonstrate fortitude by exercising maximum restraint.

"Stop fighting, start talking and take on the root causes of the conflict so we are not back to the same situation in another six months or a year. We must address these underlying issues, including mutual recognition, occupation, despair and denial of dignity so people do not feel they have to resolve to violence as a means of expressing their grievances."

The Secretary-General said he understood that some may feel threatened by the negative regional developments and disenchanted with the peace process.

However, he underscored, there is no "viable alternative to a two-state solution."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’12″

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