UN chief calls for immediate end to Israeli-Palestinian hostilities

Published May 15, 2021, 12:06 PM

by Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on all parties to immediately cease the fighting in Gaza and Israel, said his spokesman.

Smoke billows above buildings after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City in the Gaza Strip early on May 15, 2021. (AFP / MANLA BULLETIN)

“The ongoing military escalation has caused great suffering and destruction. It has claimed scores of civilian lives, including, tragically, many children. The fighting has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman, in a statement.

The parties must allow for mediation efforts to intensify with a view to ending the fighting immediately. The United Nations is actively involved in such efforts, which are also crucial for delivering much-needed humanitarian aid to the affected people in Gaza, said the statement.

The secretary-general reiterated his commitment, including through the Middle East Quartet, to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements. He believed that only a sustainable political solution will lead to lasting peace, said the statement.