The 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt as talks over a permanent truce continue in Cairo is “not enough,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon says, expressing hope that a “durable ceasefire” will be reached soon.
“We must use this cessation of hostilities to address urgent humanitarian needs. The toll of death and destruction is staggering,” he says in a statement, going on to describe the extent of the devastation in the Gaza Strip.
“More than 300,000 people are still sheltering in UNRWA schools, government and private schools and other public facilities, or with host families. At least 100,000 people have had their homes destroyed or severely damaged,” he says, pledging that the UN will help rehabilitate the coastal enclave.
He adds, however, that “unless we address the underlying causes of the conflict, another round of violence and vengeance is almost guaranteed.”
“Israel’s duty to protect its citizens from rocket attacks by Hamas and other threats is beyond question. At the same time, the fighting has raised serious questions about Israel’s respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality,” he says, urging “accountability for the innocent lives lost and the damage incurred” during the UN probe into the fighting.