The Secretary-General welcomes the humanitarian pause in Gaza today and appreciates that it has mostly been respected by all parties. This temporary ceasefire, brokered by his Special Coordinator, Robert Serry, has allowed civilians in Gaza to resume some daily routines and for repairs to start on essential electrical and water infrastructure. In Israel, civilians have had a reprieve from rocket fire. Throughout, the United Nations has continued providing essential humanitarian assistance.
The pause shows that a cessation of hostilities is possible if all the parties demonstrate the necessary will and put the interests of civilians, who have borne the brunt of this escalation, first. Encouraged by discussions in Cairo, the Secretary-General hopes today’s humanitarian pause can lead to a more durable calm and expresses once again his support for international efforts, led by Egypt, to arrive at a sustainable ceasefire. In this regard, it will be crucial to address the underlying factors that have led to the recent escalation, including governance issues, the need to bring Gaza back under one legitimate Palestinian Government adhering to the Palestine Liberation Organization commitments, the full opening of the legal crossings, and other unimplemented core elements of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009).
The Secretary-General reiterates the United Nations readiness to help facilitate all efforts to this end. He has dispatched his Special Coordinator to Gaza to help further de-escalate tensions and achieve a lasting ceasefire that will spare Palestinians and Israelis future such rounds of violence.