UN chief urges Israel to reconsider decision to declare Gaza "enemy entity"

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September 19, 2007 19:47

 
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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Israel on Wednesday to reconsider its decision to declare the Gaza Strip an "enemy entity," warning that any cutoff of vital services would violate international law and punish the already suffering civilian population. In one of his toughest statements aimed at Israel since taking the reins of the UN on Jan. 1, Ban said he was "very concerned" at the Israeli government's declaration earlier Wednesday "and its announced intent to interrupt essential services such as electricity and fuel to the civilian population." "Such a step would be contrary to Israel's obligations towards the civilian population under international humanitarian and human rights law," he said. "I call for Israel to reconsider this decision," the secretary-general said in a statement read by UN spokeswoman Michele Montas.

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