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Ban Ki-moon calls for conducting thorough investigation into events in Gaza

October 14, 2014, 18:55 UTC+3

Ban Ki-moon considered absolutely unacceptable the attacks on UN schools where innocent civilians found shelter

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

© AP Photo/Yasser Qudih

CAIRO, October 14. /TASS/. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called for conducting a thorough investigation into the events in the Gaza Strip when the UN facilities were hit by Israel’s air and artillery strikes.

Ban Ki-moon considered absolutely unacceptable the attacks on UN schools where innocent civilians found shelter. The UN Secretary-General emphasised the need to clarify all circumstances of the events in the Gaza Strip.

He pledged to do his best to stop the enclave’s occupation.

At the same time, Ban said Palestinian radicals should stop attacks on the Israeli territory. This will be the main condition for preserving a lasting truce, he said.

If the situation does not change in the Gaza Strip, it will be impossible to talk about peace in the region and security in Israel, Ban Ki-moonb said.

Earlier, Ban Ki-moon arrived in the enclave via the Erez crossing, on the border with Israel, to study the situation on the spot and meet with local residents.

He visited the institutions of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East hit by air and artillery strikes and the most destructed areas in the Gaza Strip’s north.

The UN Secretary-General’s visit is linked to the efforts aimed at resuming the Palestinian-Israeli talks. The donors’ conference in Cairo gave a start to the talks on Sunday, October 12. After the forum, organised by Egypt and Norway, its participants obliged to provide $5.4 billion to the needs of Palestinians. Half of the sum will be used to build the enclave.

Ban said he had several meetings with Israeli officials in order to ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip and ensure the delivery of most of construction materials to restore the enclave and provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians. He also called the parties to resume talks.

Later Ban Ki-moon left for Ramallah and then for Jerusalem to meet with head of the Palestine national unity government Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During the talks with the Israeli leader, Ban Ki-moon condemned the construction of settlements on the Palestinian territories beyond the so-called “Green Line”. “This does not send the right signals, and I urge the government of Israel to reverse these activities,” Ban said.

Ban visited the enclave last time in 2012 and the scandal broke out. Palestinian protesters threw boots and stones at a convoy of trucks where the UN Secretary-General’s car moved. They protested because during the visit, Ban Ki-moon had not met with relatives of Palestinians currently at Israeli prisons. The UN Secretary-General understood protesters’ position and said he shared the feelings of frustration and concern of Palestinians who faced social, economic and humanitarian challenges.

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