Gaza on "knife-edge", situation could slip beyond "anyone's control"Listen /
Gaza is on "knife-edge" and the deteriorating situation is leading to a downward spiral which could quickly get beyond anyone's control.
That's what the UN Secretary-General told the press regarding what he called the "volatile" situation in the Middle East.
A new wave of violence has engulfed the Gaza, southern Israel and the West Bank – including Jerusalem.
Mr Ban Ki-moon warned it was one of the most critical tests the region has faced in recent years.
"Gaza is on a knife-edge. The deteriorating situation is leading to a downward spiral which could quickly get beyond anyone's control.The risk of violence expanding further still is real. Gaza, and the region as a whole, cannot afford another full-blown war. Again, I firmly condemn the multiple rocket attacks launched from Gaza on Israel. Such attacks are unacceptable and must stop."
Mr Ban spent most of Wednesday talking with regional and world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas.
He said he urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to exercise maximum restraint and to respect international obligations to protect civilians.
He added that he was "deeply concerned" about the loss of civilian lives in Gaza.
The Secretary-General said President Abbas remained the "best partner for peace" and commended him for courageously upholding his commitment to security coordination.
He encouraged leaders on both sides to do everything they can to end all attacks.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.