UNITED NATIONS, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called on Israel and Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to extend the humanitarian pause and start negotiations, the statement issued by Ban’s spokesman said on Saturday.
“He [Ban Ki-Moon] therefore urgently appeals once again to all parties to declare a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as a prelude to renewing a political process as the only way of achieving a durable peace. He strongly urges the parties to, at the very minimum, extend the expiring pause,” the statement reads.
The UN Secretary-General added that the Gaza blockade has to be put to an end and security in the region must be “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”.
Earlier in the day, international mediators from the United States, France Britain, Germany, Qatar, Turkey and Italy during a meeting in Paris called for the extension of the truce that entered into force in the Gaza Strip early Saturday.
The truce came into effect at 8:00 (05:00 GMT) a.m. and is expected to last till 8:00 p.m. (17:00 GMT). Later, the Israeli Security Cabinet voted for the extension of the ceasefire by another four hours.
Soon after the beginning of the temporary ceasefire Palestinian Emergency Services spokesman Ashraf Qudra told RIA Novosti that the number of Palestinian who died in the conflict now raging for about three weeks surpassed 1,000.