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18 August 2014
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY STEPHANE DUJARRIC, SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 18 AUGUST 2014
HEAD OF U.N.S.C.O. CALLS FOR DURABLE SOLUTION FOR PEACE IN GAZA
Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (
), told the
today that the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Gaza has been holding, now on the fifth and last day of its current extension.
By the deadline later today – midnight Cairo time, or 5 pm here in New York – he urged the parties to reach an understanding on a durable ceasefire which also addresses the underlying issues affecting Gaza, or make substantive progress towards it. At the very least, he said, we hope that the ceasefire will be extended and the situation remains quiet.
Mr. Serry reiterated his conviction that we must not leave Gaza in the condition it was in before this latest escalation. Otherwise, the restrictions on the Strip – on exit and entry of goods and people – will continue to fuel instability, underdevelopment and conflict, and the next escalation will be just a matter of time.
He also expressed support for today’s announcement by Norway and Egypt to co-host a donor’s conference once a durable ceasefire is in place and once adequate access conditions have been established. Mr. Serry will speak to reporters at the stakeout following today’s Council meeting.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (
) has reported that the number of displaced people in Gaza has risen again, with more than 237,600 internally displaced people taking refuge at 81 UN Relief and Works Agency (
) schools as of yesterday.
UNRWA, the World Food Programme (
) and the Ministry of Social Affairs have reached 150,000 out of a targeted group of 730,000 people with an exceptional food distribution to affected families who are not receiving regular food assistance.
The World Health Organization (
) reports that they have been providing medicines and medical supplies to the Palestinian Ministry of Health to fill critical shortages in hospitals in the Gaza Strip providing health services for a total of 1.8 million people.
In recent days, 24 trucks with medical supplies were sent via the Rafah border crossing with the support of the Egyptian Red Crescent to be distributed to all hospitals in the Gaza Strip, benefiting 100,000 patients for a period of two months.