Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

US, UN, EU and Russia urge instant Gaza cease-fire

US, UN, EU and Russia urge instant Gaza cease-fire

Key world powers trying to promote Mideast peace called on Israel and Hamas on Monday to implement an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and southern Israel, the U.N. said.
The Quartet of Mideast peacemakers _ the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia _ appealed "for an immediate cease-fire that would be fully respected" following a teleconference on Tuesday morning, U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.
They called for the cease-fire four days after Israeli warplanes started raining tons of bombs on Gaza, targeting Hamas-related installations and homes, in an attempt to stop Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza that have traumatized southern Israel.
The bombardment has been one of the Mideast's bloodiest assaults in decades, killing 368 Palestinians and injuring about 1,400. The civilian death toll include 64 women and children, and a still unknown number of men, the U.N. said.
In addition to calling for an immediate cease-fire, the Quartet "called on all parties to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and to take necessary measures to ensure the continuous provision of humanitarian supplies," Okabe said.
"They agreed on the urgent need for Israelis and Palestinians to continue on the road to peace," she said.
Participating in the teleconference were U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner whose country holds the EU presidency, and Quartet representative Tony Blair, Okabe said.
Ban told reporters Monday that regional and international partners had not done enough to help end the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
"They should do more," he said. "They should use all possible means to end the violence and encourage political dialogue, emphasizing peaceful ways of resolving differences."
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad called Ban's criticism "unfair," saying the United States has been very active diplomatically. Rice has been on the phone with the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Europeans, the Russians and others, he said.
"Everyone is of the view that two things are important, an end to violence, a cease-fire, an enduring cease-fire, and two ... the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians in Gaza," he told The Associated Press.
Khalilzad stressed that a cease-fire must deal "not only with what we're seeing now, of course, but also what has caused it, which from our point of view is the sequencing _ it is the rockets, it's the smuggling of arms by Hamas and the other groups."


Updated : 2021-05-09 16:50 GMT+08:00