Secretary-General condemns killing of civilians outside UN shelter in Rafah

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Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The Secretary-General has called for a swift investigation into an attack outside a UN shelter in Rafah on Sunday which killed 10 Palestinian civilians.

Mr Ban Ki-moon released a statement calling the attack "a moral outrage, criminal act" and another gross violation of international humanitarian law.

He also asked for more investigations regarding other breaches of international law and for those responsible to be held accountable.

The UN relief and works agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) runs 90 shelters in Rafah town, for at least 254,000 displaced persons.

United Nations shelters must be safe zones not combat zones, he warned.

Palestinian civilians, UN staff and premises as well as other civilian facilities must be protected by both parties.

The Israel Defence Forces had been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites, he noted.

Since the breach of the humanitarian ceasefire on 1 August, the violence has escalated and hundreds of Palestinian civilian lives have been lost, Mr Ban deplored.

The resurgence in fighting has only exacerbated the man-made humanitarian and health crisis wreaking havoc in Gaza, he said.

Calm can only be restored by resuming the ceasefire and talks in Cairo, he added.

All parties must "stop the madness", end the fighting and return to negotiations, the Secretary-General demanded.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’30”


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