UN Ban Ki-Moon Calls Palestinian-Israeli Sides to Exercise Calm

RAMALLAH, October 21, 2015 (WAFA) – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Palestinians and Israelis to put an end to the growing violence, during a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday.

He said all recent killings must be thoroughly investigated.

Ban’s visit on Wednesday was aimed at calming three weeks of deadly unrest in which at least 51 Palestinians and eight Israelis were killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“We will continue to support all efforts to create the conditions to make meaningful negotiations possible,” Ban told journalists after meeting Abbas during the meeting.

‘But ultimately it is for Palestinians and Israelis to choose peace. Our most urgent challenge is to stop the current wave of violence and avoid any further loss of life.’

Meanwhile, Abbas called on Israel to strictly respect rules governing East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and said Israel’s repeated violations against the mosque help incite a religious strife that the Palestinian do not want.

“The continued occupation and aggression against Christian and Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem, particularly against Al-Aqsa, opens the door to a religious conflict, which has unfortunately started,” he said.

‘We don’t want it and we are warning over its consequences,’ he said.

Since the beginning of October, 50 Palestinians have been killed in shootings and clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, while eight Israelis have been killed in knife and gun attacks.