From the Jerusalem Post today:
No country would accept rockets raining down on its civilians, and all countries and parties have an international obligation to protect civilians, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.Ban, who arrived in Israel as part of his effort – together with US Secretary of State John Kerry – to broker a cease-fire, said at a press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the UN position was clear: “We condemn strongly the rocket attacks, and these must stop immediately.”Ban did not say anything during his brief comments to the press about the status of efforts to forge a cease-fire.The Secretary-General said his message to both Israelis and Palestinians was the same: “Stop fighting, start talking, and take on the root causes of the conflict so we are not back in the same situation in another six months or a year.”He defined those issues as including “mutual recognition, occupation, despair and denial of dignity.”Ban said that he “fully shares” and appreciates Israel's legitimate concern and the right to defend itself. He also urged to Israel to “exercise maximum restraint.”Ban praised the Israeli people, saying that “even in the darkest hour the people of this country have such a tremendous capacity for generosity and good.” He then urged Israelis not to despair of the peace process, saying “there is no viable alternative to a two-state solution. No closure, no barrier will separate Israelis and Palestinians from a fundamental truth: you share one future.”
From the BBC News website today:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Israel and the Palestinians to "stop fighting" and "start talking" to end the conflict in Gaza.He was speaking in Israel as diplomatic efforts intensified.More than 600 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed in the past 14 days of fighting, officials say.'Maximum restraint'At a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Ban urged Israel to exercise "maximum restraint", adding that "military action will not increase Israeli security in the longer term".He called on the Palestinians to pursue a policy of "no violence, recognition of Israel and respect for previous agreements".