UN Secretary-General warns against setbacks in the Middle East peace process

(VOVworld) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for intensified efforts to encourage Israel and Palestine to take necessary steps to solve their worsening conflict.

UN Secretary-General warns against setbacks in the Middle East peace process - ảnh 1
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a press conference in New York,(US) on September 14th. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Ban said despite warnings by the international community, leaders of the two sides failed to take the necessary steps to ensure peace. On Wednesday, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets into Israel, and in retaliation, Israel fired four missiles at targets in Gaza. Over the past two weeks, Israel built another 463 housing units in four settlements in Area C of the West Bank. Ban said both Palestine and Israel have made remarks that only perpetuate their mutual mistrust.

Ban said the first local Palestinian elections in over 10 years, encompassing both the West Bank and Gaza, if held in line with international standards, could provide an important renewal of Palestinian democracy and a first step towards national unity.

There has been progress in rebuilding the Gaza Strip since the 2014 ceasefire agreement. But 65,000 people still remain displaced and assistance is needed to rebuild 5,000 destroyed houses.

Ban expressed concerned about continued breaches of the ceasefire line in the Golan Heights, which threatens the truce between Israel and Syria. He called on both countries to abide by their Disengagement Agreement and exercise maximum restraint.

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