Israelis and Palestinians urged to return to negotiations to end their conflict

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Israelis and Palestinians have been urged to return to negotiations in order to end their conflict through a viable two-state solution.

The appeal came from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the General Assembly held an informal meeting on the situation in Gaza on Wednesday.

The meeting took place as the Israeli army and Hamas were reported to be observing a 72-hour ceasefire which started on Tuesday morning.

Secretary-General Ban called for turning the current calm into a durable ceasefire that addresses the underlying issues of the conflict.

"I urge the parties to heed the international community's call to return to negotiations in order to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, ultimately through a viable two-state solution. The nightmare of the last four weeks has been a terrible reminder that only a negotiated political settlement can bring security and peace to Israelis and Palestinians alike. I repeat: only a negotiated political settlement will bring sustainable peace and security to Palestinians and Israelis alike." (34")

Mr. Ban noted that the latest conflict has claimed the lives of over 1,000 Palestinians, – the vast majority civilians, including hundreds of women and children, three Israeli civilians as well as 64 Israeli soldiers.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1'37"

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