UN reports calm in Gaza and southern Israel, with few incidents

Other News Materials 22 October 2008 21:05 (UTC +04:00)

The United Nations reported Wednesday that the calm brokered by Egypt was holding in the last month in Gaza Strip and southern Israel despite some incidents, including a rocket fired into the Negev this week, dpa reported.

B. Lynn Pascoe, the UN undersecretary general for political affairs, said in a monthly report to the UN Security Council that Israel closed border crossings between Gaza and Israel in retaliation for the rocket attack on Tuesday.

The number of truckloads of imported goods allowed into Gaza decreased in the last month and the number of people allowed into Israel for medical treatment fell by 38 per cent.

Egypt is pursuing efforts to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under the legitimate authority of the Palestinian Authority, Pascoe said. Gaza is controlled by militant Hamas while the PA moved to the West Bank. The continued division has had adverse effects on talks to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and on humanitarian efforts to assist those in need of medical treatment.

"Notwithstanding the transition currently underway in Israel, we hope that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will not only continue, but intensify between now and the end of the year within the Annapolis framework," Pascoe said.

The framework calls for steps to resolve the conflict and achieve the goal of establishing a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel. The Israeli government is in a transitional period with Prime Minister-designated Tzipi Livni trying to form new cabinet.