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Ban demands immediate release of captured Israeli soldier
Published Friday 01/08/2014 (updated) 03/08/2014 14:33
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Palestinians who were displaced from their houses due to fierce
clashes between Israel and Hamas return to check their homes in
the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, on Aug. 1, 2014
(AFP Mahmud Hams)
UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded Friday that an Israeli soldier captured in Gaza be released immediately and condemned the reported capture "in the strongest terms."

Ban called on Israel and Hamas to show restraint and return to the 72-hour truce that collapsed after two soldiers were killed and a third reportedly captured near the southern city of Rafah.

"The secretary-general demands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier," his spokesman said in a statement.

Ban was "shocked and profoundly disappointed" by the renewed violence and warned that if reports of the attack on Israeli soldiers were confirmed "this would constitute a grave violation of the ceasefire," the statement added.

"Such moves call into question the credibility of Hamas' assurances to the United Nations."

Hamas has denied responsibility for capturing a soldier and claimed Israel has fabricated the incident in order to "cover up its crimes."

Senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan said in a statement to France 24 channel that "Israel claims that a soldier was captured to hide its crimes and to divert the public opinion to speak of the captured soldier instead."

"We do not have any information about a captured soldier," he added, saying no soldier was captured by any Palestinian faction.

Israel and Hamas traded accusations over the collapse of the ceasefire amid renewed fierce fighting that left scores dead.

The United Nations has repeatedly called for a humanitarian truce to give respite to civilians from the fighting that has left over 1,600 dead on the Palestinian side, mostly civilians, and 63 Israeli soldiers and three civilians on the other.

Uncertainty over Egypt-brokered talks

The UN's top political affairs chief poured cold water on prospects for peace talks brokered by Egypt after the collapse of the 72-hour truce that was to lay the groundwork for negotiations.

"The chance for success of these talks rested on quiet, rested on the 72-hour ceasefire," said Jeffrey Feltman, Under Secretary General for Political Affairs.

"Right now we have escalation. I myself have a hard time envisaging how these talks would work right now."

Egypt said the invitation to Israeli and Palestinian delegations was still open and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said his team would travel to Cairo for the talks on Saturday.

UN officials pressed for a return to the ceasefire, but acknowledged that the conflict had escalated and that the abduction of the Israeli soldier had virtually killed prospects for a truce.

"I hope that we can get back to that (a truce) but it is going to be extremely difficult given the situation we see in the Gaza Strip now especially with the capture of the Israeli soldier," said Feltman.

Feltman stressed that the United Nations had received firm assurances from both sides "after long, hard, tough" negotiations that they would suspend fighting for 72 hours.

Those talks involved US Secretary of State John Kerry and key players from Qatar and Turkey, who are in contact with Hamas, as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
1 ) Bemused / New Zealand
01/08/2014 22:21
What about the 6,000 captured Palestinians, you hypocrite!

2 ) Fankoosh / Sweden
01/08/2014 22:23
So Ban!! why not put Gaza and the West bank under international protection and controll... so you can see and follow up in real about credibility of palestine or Israel who brake all agreements but you dont care about that!!

3 ) Ebrahim / RSA
01/08/2014 22:34
The UN is very quick to condemn the capture of a Israeli soldiers in which it turns a blind eye to thousands of palestinians being arrested and killed everyday. In 2006 when Israel was loosing its war against Hezbollah it had sent UN peacekeeping forces due to its defeat.The UN is funded by the Zionist Regime it is another terrorist group which creates more wars than peace.

4 ) Maureen / Australia
01/08/2014 22:53
Zionist false flag? AWOL? Got trapped under rubble following Zionist bombing?

5 ) miriam / Romania
02/08/2014 00:02
How about all the Palestinians Captured and imprisoned indefinitely and without charge by Israel, is Ban also demanding their immediate and unconditional release?! Ah, I forgot, only soldiers who are there to kill indiscriminately are to be immediately and unconditionally released, not civilians! Or, better said, anything happening to an Israeli (or Jew?) is shocking and profoundly disappointing, even if he has a machinegun, sitting in a tank and playing videogames in Gaza, with people? Poor guy

6 ) Maisie / UK
02/08/2014 00:29
Feltman with old ties to AIPAC speaking for Ban. If it wasn't so sick-making it would be black humour at its best. Where was the outrage when Israel was rounding up anyone it wanted, either in Gaza or the West Bank, in order to find the three boys who were murdered when the perps were found not to be Hamas connected. How ironic this business: Israel fighting its own creation, Hamas, in order to avoid a unity government and then express outrage over tunnels. Gaza has a right to defend itself!

7 ) ABE / USA
02/08/2014 00:35
Proving once again how you can't TRUST Hamas animals!

8 ) fpm/US / USA
02/08/2014 00:35
I'm looking forward to the day when Ban Ki-Moon can shut the hell up. He's about worth a plug nickel, always has been and always will be. He does what the Zionist tell him to do. Take a break, a long break. Hopefully we won't have to see you shaking hands with Netanyahu and grinning like a hyena because they bombed your UN facility like they always do? What part of stupid are you?

9 ) abu mo / usa
02/08/2014 00:39
how can Ben demand immediate release of a captured soldier it he should be tried as a war criminal

10 ) jennie / NewZealand
02/08/2014 01:10
If Hammas was had captured an Israeli soldier would anyone besides Bloomberg and Ban ki moon expect them to release him ? So he can kill more Palestinians ? Maybe the Palestinians should just line up to help Israel kill them . Mr Moon needs to get some sleep . No wonder he has no credibility.

11 ) Belacan / Malaysia
02/08/2014 01:42
Ban Ki-moon is just a puppet. The facts are simple: Israel news said that the soldier was captured during the truce, when its army was trying to decommission a tunnel in Rafah. In the first place, Israel admitted that there was a military activities its army during the truce, which resulted to one of its soldiers being taken prisoner. There wasn't supposed to be any military activities during the truce in the first place. So Israel breached the truce first..

12 ) d'Arc / USA
02/08/2014 02:26
The shelling and mass murder of civilians no longer is a concern of the US or UN. That is clear. Those calling for the release of the soldier cannot even guarantee that the IDF will slow down the slaughter of Gazan civilians if the soldier is released. The capture of the soldier is a bell that cannot be unrung, except in the context of cease fire and peace negotiations when the conflict ends in the next decade or so.

13 ) Vacy / Australia
02/08/2014 03:47
THE UN /US hypocrisy is boundless.Where was their condemnation when IOF forces captured several hundred Hamas freedom fighters over the course of Operation Protective Edge? Many of them have been turned over for further questioning and investigation i.e. torture.

14 ) THERE WAS NO PRISONER / it is all
02/08/2014 04:25
israeli invention

15 ) truth / australia
02/08/2014 07:54
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon...you should be ashamed of your self....failed to demand arrest P.M. of Israel for killing children women . and for attacking school ,hospital and ambulances...you have failed as a impartial person...

16 ) Sam / USA
02/08/2014 09:35
Ban is an official working with baby Nat , he can't disobey his master , even though his admin says they don't have independance proof who has broke the ceasefire , but he still blame Hamas , if this is not shameful what it will be , the might is right here, by the way it's not the israeli aggression , but it's the European and American aggression on destitute people, it's seem to be might us right lost its brain totally ,and it's in the final stage before it's death, it's always right is might

17 ) Bob / -
02/08/2014 12:57
Looks like everything is being engineered to suit the Israeli agenda as usual. US & UN immediately state that Israel's version of events in correct re breaking of the truce. They call for the release of the soldier Hamas say they haven't got (& even if they did, as this is war, it is not illegal to hold POW's). Then Israel goes in & kills another 120 people with US purchased weapons. The profile of the soldier seemed "too good to be true", when released. Those who support this have bloody hands.

18 ) reader / word
02/08/2014 17:48

see the picture of Ban surrounded and under control of zionists.

19 ) Jim / USA
03/08/2014 01:11
The UN's Ban ki-moon is just a parrot for the Israeli propaganda machine. It's better for him to shut up instead of rushing to rehearse what his masters are telling him to say. He's no different has his predecessors!

20 ) Maureen / Australia
03/08/2014 03:09
Israel now acknowledges the soldier was not abducted but was killed in battle. Lying war mongers used the "capture" ploy as an excuse to commit more massacre in Gaza!
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