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Hamas should support peace initiative of Egypt — UN head

July 16, 2014, 12:59 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

The situation in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating as Israel continues to deliver strikes on the enclave in response to Hamas rocket fire

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon


THE UNITED NATIONS, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged the Hamas movement to support the peace initiative proposed by Egypt and stop the shelling of Israel. UN head’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that Ban is concerned over the continuing standoff, despite Israel’s readiness to accept the armistice offer. “He is deeply worried that the fighting has not stopped, despite Israel’s readiness to accept the ceasefire proposal and the Palestinian Authority’s support,” Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

“He calls on Hamas to cooperate with the Egyptian initiative, and urges all sides to build on this opening of a diplomatic channel. All parties must respect international humanitarian law.”

The United Nations for its part will continue to provide the humanitarian aid that is so needed in Gaza, Haq said. According to him, the UN chief on Sunday had a telephone conversation with Egyptian President Abd Al Fattah Al-Sisi in order to express support to his peace initiative.

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However, the situation in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating as Israel continues to deliver strikes on the enclave in response to Hamas rocket fire. According to data made public on Tuesday by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, 174 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,000 injured in Gaza.

“The numbers are increasing by the hour,” Sami Mshasha of the UNRWA told a news conference in Geneva. “We also notice that a good number of those killed and injured are women and children, and that is a cause of concern for UNRWA,” he said, speaking by phone from Jerusalem. Mr. Mshasha added that 560 homes were completely destroyed and thousands of other buildings damaged in Israeli airstrikes. Since the latest hostilities began a week ago, senior UN officials and the Security Council have called on the parties to de-escalate the situation, restore calm, and reinstitute the November 2012 ceasefire that ended eight days of violence in Gaza and Israel.

Haq said that Israeli Air Force often target UN facilities. As of Monday, 47 UNRWA facilities were damaged, he specified. The facilities of this agency in Gaza include 20 schools where 17,000 people have found shelter.

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