NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–28 July 2014 – The United Nations Security Council today, meeting in an emergency session just after midnight, called for an “immediate and unconditional” ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.
In a presidential statement, the 15-member body expressed strong support for the call by international partners and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for such a ceasefire, and urged all parties to accept and fully implement it into the Eid period marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and beyond.
“The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative,” the statement added.
In this regard, the Council welcomed the efforts of international partners and the convening of the international meeting to support the ceasefire held in Paris on 26 July and urged all concerned regional and international parties to vigorously support efforts to consolidate an agreement between the parties.
The Israeli military offensive in Gaza, which is home to 1.8 million people, has left hundreds dead and thousands injured. Over 170,000 people have been uprooted from their homes and have sought shelter in UN-run facilities.
The Council expressed “grave concern” regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.
In a statement from his spokesperson following the emergency meeting, Mr. Ban welcomed the Security Council’s “strong support” for his call for a humanitarian ceasefire.
He called on all parties to prolong the suspension of fighting for an additional extendable period of 24-hours to allow vital humanitarian efforts to continue, and reiterated his demand for a durable ceasefire that could set the ground for the start of comprehensive negotiations.
“As people around the world mark Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan and a time for overcoming differences, the Secretary-General calls on parties to build on the current calm,” according to the statement.
Mr. Ban underscored that both Israelis and Palestinians have a responsibility beyond ceasing the ongoing hostilities to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.
“That means an end to the blockade of Gaza and ultimately to the nearly half century of occupation,” he said, adding that it equally means security for Israel.
“He urges the parties to heed his call and that of the international community for the sake of present and future generations of Palestinians and Israelis,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson added.