UN consults with all parties as new cargo ship heads toward Gaza coast

15:21, June 05, 2010      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon is "in close consultations with all parties" in order to prevent a standoff as a new cargo ship is heading toward the waters off the coast of Gaza, a UN spokesperson told reporters here Friday.

Marike Okabe, the deputy spokesperson for Ban, said that the secretary-general has appealed to all parties to do all that can be done to avoid another incident like the one that took place on Monday.

Ban has stressed that all parties must act with a sense of responsibility and in accordance with international law.

Israel's military interception of the aid ships led to the deaths of several civilians and the wounding of dozens of others. Early on Monday, the UN Security Council issued a presidential statement in which it "condemns those acts which resulted in the loss" of the lives of civilians and calls for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation" into the incident.

Ban, who has also called for a prompt probe, has appealed for the immediate release of those detained in the raid.

The aid convoy was said to have been carrying educational, medical and construction materials, as well as hundreds of activists from different countries, to Gaza, where the blockade has caused ongoing suffering for 1.5 million Palestinian inhabitants.

The United Nations has repeatedly spoken out against the closure of Gaza and raised concern over the insufficient flow of material into the area to meet basic needs and spur reconstruction. Ban has cautioned in a recent meeting that the closure "creates unacceptable suffering, hurts forces of moderation and empowers extremists."

Source: Xinhua


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