UN Chief: "In the name of humanity, violence in Gaza must stop"

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at lectern) speaks to journalists on the going hostilities in Gaza. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The Secretary-General has called for an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza, urging for an end to the violence "in the name of humanity".

Mr Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a press briefing in New York on Monday, shortly after his return from the region.

The world is celebrating Eid al-Fitr which marks the feast of breaking the fast following the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Since Sunday, a relative and very fragile calm has been established on the ground, the Secretary-General noted.

"The temporary weekend pause in fighting brought a brief respite to war-weary civilians. It also revealed how much the massive Israeli assault has devastated the lives of the people of Gaza. We saw scenes of indiscriminate destruction. Some described it as a “man-made hurricane” – whole neighbourhoods reduced to rubble; blocks of flattened apartment buildings; scores of bodies still buried under mountains of twisted wreckage."

No country would accept the threat of rockets from above and tunnels from below, Mr Ban said.

At the same time, he added, all occupying powers have an international legal obligation to protect civilians.

Hamas rocket fire has claimed the lives of three Israeli civilians.

Over a thousand Palestinians have been killed since the start of the conflict, the majority of them civilians and hundreds of them children.

The Secretary-General said there must be accountability and justice for crimes committed by all sides.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'39''

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