UN calls for "positive strategy" to end crisis in Gaza

Other News Materials 26 February 2008 20:47 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The United Nations urged Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt on Tuesday to develop a new strategy aimed at ending the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Gaza Strip.

Quartet members and parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been told by the UN to actively pursue a "positive strategy" to end rocket firing and suicide attacks against Israel and meet Gazans' humanitarian needs, the UN special envoy for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, told the UN Security Council in a public meeting.

Serry said the Middle East diplomatic quartet - the UN, the European Union, the United States and Russia - remains ready to provide support to end the Gaza crisis.

" Egypt's efforts along the border and diplomatically to find durable solutions to this crisis are to be commended," Serry said. "The quartet has also stated publicly its strong support for the proposal of the Palestinian Authority to resume operations at the crossings."

Serry said the inhabitants in Gaza, West Bank and southern Israel have "little confidence" that the political process was moving in the direction of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Since the Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, organized last fall by the White House, neither Israel nor the Palestinians have abided by their agreement to restart the first phase of the so-called quartet's road map, Serry said.

Israel failed to freeze all settlement activities in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Palestinian-held territories, Serry said. Israel also failed to re-open Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem and continued construction of the barrier separating it from Palestinians.

Hamas has not acted sufficiently in its determination to end rocket attacks against Israel by militant groups, Serry said.

Serry told the council that the conflict in the past month killed 45 Palestinians and injured 139 others while one Israeli was killed and 27 injured during the same period.