SG: As Secretary-General of the United Nations I have a responsibility to ensure the implementation of Security Council Resolution , which is binding.
Israel is one of the responsible members of the United Nations, thus also has the responsibility to fully comply, fully implement any resolution taken by the Security Council. I have urged the Foreign Minister, and I am going to urge the President and Prime Minister to fully abide by this Security Council resolution. Before I came to Israel, I had an informal meeting with all 15 members of the Security Council. They have entrusted me on this mission to bring this fighting to an end, immediately, in accordance with Resolution 1860. I sincerely hope that the Israeli Government now heeds this call of the Security Council, the wishes of the international community, that fighting must stop, that we do not see any further sacrifices and killings of civilian populations, and we see no more destruction of infrastructure and properties. We have to now look at the reconstruction of Gaza City. As soon as a ceasefire is attained - I hope so – then as I said, I intend to dispatch a humanitarian needs assessment team to Gaza and on this, the Foreign Minister has agreed to facilitate the physical assistance on this.
Q: Mr. Secretary, on your mission to Egypt [inaudible] what point are we at? When will the fighting stop? What is your impression?
SG: In my meetings with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan and also Israel, my observation is that they have some elements now in place which may enable the ceasefire to come reasonably soon. I hope so. But that depends on the political will of the Israeli Government. You must have seen the report that Hamas has proposed a ceasefire. I am not fully aware of the terms and conditions.
What I would like to urge again is that we can discuss terms and conditions later. My demand is just to stop fighting now - immediately - cease fire immediately. You can discuss this matter to make the ceasefire durable and sustainable, which can be respected fully by the parties concerned. If you take more time then more people will have to be killed. That is an unacceptable situation. We are almost 20 days since this fighting began. The number of casualties has reached an unbearable point. There is a strong wish and expectation and call from the international community that this fighting must stop and establish a durable, sustainable ceasefire so the Gazan citizen population can live in peace and security.
At the same time, the Israeli people have a legitimate right to live without fear. It is again unacceptable that almost one million Israeli people should live day and night with such a fear coming from indiscriminate rocket firing by from Hamas militants. This must also stop immediately and permanently.
Now, on Hamas taking human shields or any installations and facilities - that is unacceptable. This is against international humanitarian law. It is against humanity. This cannot be accepted. And this must be stopped.