UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed last summer’s Gaza war on Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian territories, as he called on both parties to finalized an agreement for a two-state solution.
“We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations,” Ban said.
He spoke on Sunday at a donor conference in Cairo to raise funds to repair the damage from the Gaza war. On Monday he is expected to visit Israel, where he will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. On Tuesday he will visit Gaza.
In Cairo, he said, “I call on all parties to come together to chart a clear course towards a just and final peace - including achieving a full lifting of the blockade, ensuring Israel’s legitimate security concerns; and establishing two States living side by side in peace and security.”