World / Middle East

UN calls for restraint from Palestine, Israel

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-10-25 08:41

UNITED NATIONS - UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry on Wednesday called on Palestine and Israel to show "maximum restraint" amid the recent surge of violence.

Martin Nesirky, spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, said at a daily briefing that Serry made this appeal during his visit to the UN Gaza Office and a UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) project in Gaza.

During the visit, there was another escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza. Serry deeply deplored the violence and called on all parties to show maximum restraint, said Nesirky.

Palestine reportedly fired dozens of rockets into Israel from Gaza on Wednesday, for which Hamas and Popular Resistance Committee groups have claimed responsibility. Israel retaliated with airstrikes that left at least five people wounded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday afternoon that Israel was "prepared for a much wider and deeper operation" to quell the ongoing rocket salvos by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Serry expressed his concern that "with recurrent violence, as illustrated today, continued closures, and the persistent Palestinian divide, we will lose the race against time to preserve Gaza as a livable place."

"People in Gaza and the West Bank expect their leaders to take tangible steps towards Palestinian reconciliation, and that the United Nations would continue to work with all parties to build confidence," said Serry.

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