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UN envoy: Gaza escalation underscores urgency

Nov. 27, 2012 10:12 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 27, 2012 10:31 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The escalation of violence in Gaza last week underscores the urgent need to get the Israeli-Palestinian peace process back on track, UN envoy Richard Serry said Tuesday.

The envoy in Jerusalem told the Security Council that the violence as well as the upcoming Palestinian UN bid “underscore the status quo is unsustainable and that it is all the more vital to identify a way ahead to urgently put the peace process back on track.”

“It is now paramount that parties respect the calm and allow time for other elements of the understanding to be worked out,” Serry said of the ceasefire deal negotiated by Egypt.

“It is painful that despite consistent warnings we had yet another major escalation four years after ‘Operation Cast Lead’,” Serry was quoted as saying by the UN News Centre.

“The devastating round of violence is a stark reminder that the status quo is unsustainable. There will be no progress if Israel’s legitimate security concerns are not addressed. At the same time, it will give Palestinians a strong additional stake in a durable calm if it leads to a lifting of the closure on Gaza.”

Meanwhile in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority cabinet called on Arab and international organizations to bear full and urgent responsibility to reconstruct damage from the latest assault.

A cabinet statement said the international community had an obligation to restore "what the aggression destroyed and address its effects, especially on children and bereaved families."
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