The UN Special Coordinator on the Middle East Peace Process, Mr Nickolay Mladenov, has urged Israelis and Palestinians to pull back from the brink of war.
Mladenov said this at a press conference in the Gaza Strip on Sunday amid a ceasefire holding after a day-long flare-up in fighting between Gaza and Israel Gaza militants.
“Yesterday we were on the brink of war and it has taken the concerted efforts of everyone to make sure that we step back from confrontation,” Mladenov warned.
The envoy also appealed to the Palestinian factions to not provoke incidents at the fence, to stop the firing of rockets and mortars, to stop the incendiary kites and to “give peace a chance.
“I appeal to Israel to be very restrained in its responses to the situation in Gaza.
“I appeal to snipers not to shoot children. Iappeal to everybody to step back from the brink,” he added.
The envoy also noted the stalled Palestinian reconciliation process and the dire security situation in the wake of Israel’s deadly response to the recent series of Palestinian protests that began at the Gaza border fence in March.
“I want to begin by expressing deepest condolences to the parents of all the children, whose lives have been lost in the past few weeks; to all journalists and to all medical professionals, who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” Mladenov said.
He called for concerted efforts by all to pull back from “a confrontation that nobody wants, nobody needs and in which everyone will lose’’.
“Further, the international community has the responsibility to act immediately and meet the expectations not only of providing aid to the people of Gaza but of designing a political path to move forward,” he said.
He appealed to the leadership of both Hamas and Fatah and all Palestinian factions, to take Egypt’s initiatives very seriously.
“The only realistic perspective today is this: avoid war, fix the humanitarian problems of Gaza and get back to the reconciliation process. If we are able to do this, we can achieve a lot.
“But we need and I hope we will have the full cooperation of all Palestinians and all Israelis who are sick and tired of war and conflict, who want to live in peace, and who want to see their lives not constantly threatened by rockets or air strikes,” Mladenov added.
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