UN's Ban calls on Israel, Palestinians to halt unilateral actions undermining peace

United Nations secretary-general says failure to reconstruct Gaza will "surely light the fuse" for another conflict.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (photo credit: REUTERS)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday called on "all parties with influence" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to immediately desist from taking unilateral actions that undermine trust and urged them to resume peace negotiations.
Speaking at an UNRWA (Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Middle East) conference, Ban stressed that past political failure "must not lead to a humanitarian – and indeed, moral -- failure."
The latest attempt at peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down more than a year ago.
The prospect of a peace accord became increasingly dismal in light of last summer's war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.
Ban indicated that the failure to reconstruct the vast damaged caused in the coastal Palestinian enclave during last year's conflict would lead to yet another round of violence.
"We know where failure to address these and other issues will lead. We have seen it time and again," he said. "Gaza is a powder keg – mounting frustration and anger will surely light the fuse. Action is needed now"
He added that the mechanism for Gaza reconstruction, overseen by the United Nations, required reconciliation between feuding Palestinian factions along with strong terms to the cease-fire arrangement that brought an end to the 50-day Operation Protective Edge. 
Ban's remarks came after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced last Thursday that he would travel to the region in June in a bid to advance efforts to relaunch discussions over a two-state solution.