Egypt: Ban Phones Morsi to Discuss Escalation in Gaza

Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi/Flickr
Scores of Israeli army tanks and armored personnel carriers are massed near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip (file photo).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke on the telephone with President Mohamed Morsi to express his support to Egypt's efforts to restore calm in the Gaza Strip.

In his conversation with Morsi, Ban stressed the need to prevent any further deterioration of the situation and expressed strong support for the leadership being exercised by Egypt to restore calm in the region, according to statement readout from the UN Secretary-General's spokesperson.

The UN Chief also phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "express his concern about the deteriorating situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, which includes an alarming escalation of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and the targeted killing by Israel of a Hamas military operative in Gaza."

Ban also reiterated his strong condemnation of rocket fire out of Gaza and noted his expectation that Israeli reactions are measured so as not to provoke a new cycle of bloodshed that could cause additional civilian casualties and have dangerous spillover effects in the region.

He also called for the parties to exercise the utmost restraint and to respect international humanitarian law.

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