Wed, 23 Jun 2021

New York [US], May 16 (ANI/Xinhua): 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. (ANI/Xinhua)

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