Ban Ki-moon to visit Israel, Gaza and West Bank
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Ban Ki-moon to visit Israel, Gaza and West Bank

UN chief to meet Netanyahu, Rivlin on regional developments; urges Israel and Palestinians to end cycle of 'building and destroying'

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a press conference at the Gaza donor conference in Cairo, Egypt, on October 12, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Khaled Desouki)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a press conference at the Gaza donor conference in Cairo, Egypt, on October 12, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Khaled Desouki)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Israel on Monday to discuss regional developments following last summer’s war in Gaza with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

Ban’s visit to Israel will come a day after his address at a Cairo donor conference for the reconstruction of Gaza, where he urged Israelis and Palestinians to address the underlying causes of the conflict and to end the cycle of “building and destroying.”

The secretary-general will meet with Israeli officials after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi asked Israel not to attend the Gaza aid conference that convened Sunday, for fear that the Palestinian and Gulf State delegations would cancel their attendance in protest.

In his speech, the UN chief also said that reconstruction in Gaza required a “strong political base,” and not only financial aid, adding that the “reconciliation agreement” between Fatah and Hamas was a “promising first step.

“Gaza remains a tinderbox,” continued Ban, who called for the implementation of a two-state solution and for Israel to lift its blockade on Gaza.

He said that an environment conducive to peace must include an investigation into potential violations of international law during Operation Protective Edge by both sides.

In an effort to advance reconstruction efforts, Ban told reporters in Cairo Sunday that, in addition to visiting Jerusalem, he would also be in Ramallah on Monday and in Gaza on Tuesday “to listen directly to the people of Gaza.”

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