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UN Chief calls for supporting efforts to avoid escalation in Gaza

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres talks at a press conference at the Aleppo Elementary school run by UNRWA in Beit Lahia, Gaza on 30 August 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The Secretary-General António Guterres called on Thursday on “all parties” to support the efforts being exerted to avoid a new escalation in the Gaza Strip, a statement a copy of which sent to MEMO said.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to support the efforts of UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov and Egypt to avoid an escalation and address all humanitarian issues in Gaza and the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza.”

In the statement, Guterres also welcomed Israeli “reopen the Kerem Shalom Crossing to its full operating capacity this morning and to expand the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza.”

Read: Israel allows entry of construction materials into Gaza

Guterres, the statement said, “is encouraged to see that those concerned have responded to calls to avoid the devastating impact of yet another conflict on the civilian population in and around Gaza.”

It is worth mentioning that the Israeli authorities did not open the crossing to its full capacity as Guterres thinks, but it was close to the function as it was before July 9.

The fishing zone was only expanded along the southern cities of the Gaza Strip, and that expansion was 11 miles less than agreed between Israel and the PLO in the Oslo agreement signed in 1993.

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