UN Chief condemns reported Hamas violation of Gaza truce

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Photo/Mark Garten

The Secretary-General has condemned "in the strongest terms" the reported violation by Hamas of a mutually agreed humanitarian ceasefire which started Friday morning.

In a statement released by his Spokesperson, Mr Ban Ki-moon expressed shock and profound disappointment by these developments.

The Secretary-General noted that the UN has no independent means to verify exactly what happened.

According to the latest reports, two Israeli soldiers were killed and one taken captive after the truce came into effect.

Stéphane Dujarric is his Spokesperson.

"This would constitute a grave violation of the ceasefire, he warned, and one that is likely to have very serious consequences for the people of Gaza, Israel and beyond. Such moves call into question the credibility of Hamas’ assurances to the United Nations, he said. The Secretary-General deamands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier."

Meanwhile, Mr Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about the resumption of Israeli attacks on Gaza and the killing of over 70 Palestinians on Friday.

Instead of giving both sides, especially Gazan civilians, a much needed reprieve to let them attend to their injured, bury their dead and repair vital infrastructure, he noted, the breach of the ceasefire is now leading to a renewed escalation.

The Secretary-General urged both sides to show maximum restraint and return to the agreed 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire that tragically lasted such a brief period of time.

He also urged those with influence over the parties to do everything to convince them to observe the ceasefire.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’40″

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