Security Council Press Statement on Situation in the Middle East
The following Security Council press statement on the situation in the Middle East was read out by Council President Hardeep Singh Puri (India):
The members of the Security Council welcomed the ceasefire agreement reached in relation to the Gaza Strip in order to bring about a sustainable and durable cessation of hostilities that had been affecting the Gaza Strip and Israel. The members of the Council called on the parties to uphold the agreement and to act seriously to implement its provisions in good faith. They expressed their continued support for the ongoing international efforts to consolidate this agreement.
The members of the Council strongly commend the efforts of Egyptian President Morsi and others to achieve the ceasefire. The members of the Council also expressed strong appreciation for the efforts of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in this regard.
The members of the Council affirmed the need for the people of Israel and the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip to live without fear. They called on the international community to contribute to improving the living conditions of the people in the Gaza Strip, notably through providing additional emergency aid through appropriate established channels to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and to work in this regard with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt for the expeditious and unimpeded delivery of such humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment.
The members of the Security Council deplored the loss of civilian lives resulting from this situation and reiterated the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The members of the Council stressed the urgency of the restoration of calm in full and reiterated the importance of achieving a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders.
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