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UN's Ban Ki-moon Calls for 7-Day Gaza Ceasefire

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (425)
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed for a seven-day ceasefire in Gaza on Saturday as the 12-hour humanitarian pause in fighting between Palestine and Israel ended.

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed for a seven-day ceasefire in Gaza on Saturday as the 12-hour humanitarian pause in fighting between Palestine and Israel ended.

During the first 12-hour pause, Ban said, there have been "Countless images of Gazans trying to return to their daily lives while taking care of their wounded and attending to their dead. These images make it clear that we owe to the people of both Israel and Gaza our renewed effort to consolidate this pause in fighting into a more durable ceasefire."

"The blockade of and the closure on Gaza must end; there must be security based on mutual recognition; and there must be a viable two-state solution by which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security," Ban said.

The idea that only a two-state solution can end the fighting was echoed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking in Paris on Saturday about Turkey's and other countries' efforts "to have a two-state solution, which is the real solution for all these disasters and bloodshed."

The ceasefire was established to allow civilians in the enclave to replenish food and medical supplies and to move from the conflict zone to safer areas. The Israeli government voted to extend the truce by four and then 24 hours. The rebels from the Hamas movement, refused to extend the humanitarian pause, however, and resumed rocket fire right after the initial truce ended at 17:00 GMT.

The death toll in Gaza topped 1,000 on Saturday, which marked the 19th day of the conflict, according to the Palestinian Emergency Services. Israel has lost 42 soldiers and three civilians since the beginning of the conflict.

Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza and undermining the Hamas movement, which controls the region, back on July 8. On July 17, the Israeli Army switched to a ground assault largely aims at locating and destroying underground tunnels dug by militants to penetrate into Israel and to transport weapons.

Topic:
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Standoff Continues (425)
Tags:
Gaza Strip, ceasefire, military conflict, UN, Ban Ki-moon
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