The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Gaza and southern Israel, and at the potential for further suffering and violence. He calls on all parties to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law.
The Secretary-General reiterates his condemnation of rocket attacks. He calls for an end to such attacks and urges full respect by all parties of the calm that has been in effect since 19 June 2008. The Secretary-General is concerned that food and other lifesaving assistance is being denied to hundreds of thousands of people, and emphasizes that measures which increase the hardship and suffering of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip as a whole are unacceptable and should cease immediately. In particular, he calls on Israel to allow urgently the steady and sufficient supply of fuel and humanitarian assistance. He also calls on Israel to resume facilitating the activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and all humanitarian agencies, including through unimpeded access for United Nations officials and humanitarian workers.