UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit Israel next week in an attempt to bring about an end to Operation Pillar of Defense and the continuing rocket fire from Gaza, Israeli media reported on Thursday.
According to the reports, Ban will meet with top Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders in Jerusalem and in Ramallah, respectively. He has no plans to visit Gaza or to meet with Hamas officials.
Ban spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and called for the sides ”to exercise the utmost restraint and to respect international humanitarian law,” according to a press release from his office. He also condemned the rocket fire from Gaza.
In related news, Netanyahu spoke Thursday night with French President Francois Hollande about ways to restore quiet to Israel and Gaza.
“They discussed ways to stop the rockets and bring back calm to the region,” a spokesperson for the French Embassy in Tel Aviv told the Times of Israel.
Netanyahu also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and planned to speak with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper soon, according to the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. The office did not release any information on the content of the talks with Putin.