Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Middle East

UN chief calls for immediate end to Palestinians-Israelis fighting

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-17 09:52
Share - WeChat
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS - United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for an immediate end to the fighting between Palestinians and Israelis.

"Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately. Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop. I appeal to all parties to heed this call," Guterres told a Security Council meeting.

"I am appalled by the increasingly large numbers of Palestinian civilian casualties, including many women and children, from Israeli strikes in Gaza. I also deplore Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza," he said.

The fighting risks dragging Palestinians and Israelis into a spiral of violence with devastating consequences for both communities and for the entire region, he said.

Guterres also warned that the fighting has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, potentially creating a new locus of dangerous instability.

The UN remains deeply committed to working with Palestinians and Israelis and with international and regional partners, including the Middle East Quartet, to realize a lasting and just peace, he said, calling on the parties to allow mediation efforts to intensify and succeed.

"The only way forward is to return to negotiations with the goal of a two-state solution, with two states living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, based on relevant UN resolutions, international law and prior agreements," Guterres said.

The current hostilities are utterly appalling. This latest round of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace, he said.

The hostilities have forced thousands of Palestinians to leave their homes in Gaza and shelter in schools, mosques and other places with limited access to water, food, hygiene or health services. Hospitals are already overstretched due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Israeli civilians live in fear of rockets launched from Gaza, he said.

"I am appalled by the attack on a refugee camp in Gaza, in which 10 members of one family were killed. Humanitarian installations must be protected. Journalists must be allowed to work free of fear and harassment. The destruction of media offices in Gaza is extremely concerning."

This senseless cycle of bloodshed, terror and destruction must stop immediately. All parties must respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The status quo at the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem must be upheld and respected, he added.

The United Nations is actively engaging all sides toward an immediate cease-fire, he said.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349