The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has expressed his concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza arising from the blockade imposed by Israel and the ongoing effects of the Israeli bombardment and invasion of the territory last winter.
Speaking to reporters in New York, Ban Ki-moon said that the humanitarian situation affecting the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza remains a source of concern. The UN chief went on to say, "I'm still working seriously with the Israeli leadership, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as his predecessor, Mr. Olmert; unfortunately I have not been able to make any progress, but I will continue my work."
Responding to a journalist's question on the failure of the Israelis to abide by their obligations to pay compensation for the destruction of UN facilities in Gaza, or to allow any reconstruction materials into the beleaguered territory, the Secretary-General added, "I will continue to pressure the Israeli government to agree to my proposal of launching a humanitarian project that includes building hospitals, public health facilities and schools, which the Palestinian people need strongly, especially the children."
Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of Palestinian "national reconciliation" for any progress to be made. In doing so he praised the efforts made by Egypt in this regard, which – like his own – have not yielded any real results yet.
Source: New York – Quds Press Service