New York [US], May 21 (ANI/Sputnik): Top United Nations officials on Thursday renewed their calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.
"We think the best way to protect civilians immediately would be a halt to the fighting and an immediate ceasefire," UN Secretary General's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing.
On late Tuesday, Israeli television reported that Egypt had proposed a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militants starting on Thursday and Hamas had already accepted the initiative. However, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau Izzet Rishiq refuted the reports about its consent to establish a ceasefire with Israel.
In an earlier statement, Guterres called on Israel to abide by the norms of international law on armed conflict and exercise maximum restraint in its military operations in Gaza. He added that the United Nations will soon launch a full humanitarian appeal to support the Palestinians enduring the ongoing hostilities in the Gaza Strip.
UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir in remarks on Thursday condemned attacks against civilians, religious sites in the ongoing conflict, and urged the warring parties to commit to an immediate ceasefire.
Bozkir called on Israel to ensure compliance with international law, including proportionate use of force in the conflict in Gaza.
The foreign ministers of Qatar, Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic and Arab countries said during remarks at the United Nations that the international community should end what they termed was Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.
The current episode of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict broke out last week after the civil unrest in East Jerusalem, prompting hostilities on the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, with Palestinian militants having launched approximately 3,700 rockets against Israel, which retaliates with airstrikes. The sides have been firing rockets at each other ever since, leaving 217 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead. (ANI/Sputnik)