Ban Ki-moon regrets Israel did not heed his calls on Gaza crossings
Ban Ki-moon regrets Israel did not heed his calls on Gaza crossings
Saturday, November 22,2008 04:11

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon on Friday renewed his call for an end to the Israeli blockade of the impoverished Gaza Strip, regretting that his earlier pleas had gone unheeded.

"The secretary-general continues to express his concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza," a statement from his office said.

"He has underscored the importance of having Israel urgently permit the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population of Gaza, and regrets that his calls have not yet been heeded."

Ban Ki-moon renewed his condemnation of Palestinian resistance"s firing of home made missiles on "Israeli civilian targets", and called on both parties to respect the calm agreement that was signed on 19th June 2008.

Israel said Saturday it would maintain its closure of the Gaza Strip for the 18th consecutive day despite international concern over a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the aid-dependent Palestinian territory.

The Hebrew radio said that the decision was taken following consultations between war minister Ehud Barak and government officials.

For his part, Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, said that the EU could not do anything more regarding lifting the siege on Gaza.

Solana, in a press conference after meeting Ban Ki-moon, said that the EU exerted whatever it could in this regard and would continue to send humanitarian assistance to the Strip. However, he did not say how the assistance would enter the besieged Strip.

The UN and affiliated agencies had warned of an unprecedented humanitarian disaster in the Strip as a result of the tightened Israeli siege that could lead to the death of hundreds of Palestinians en masse especially the patients.