UN Chief continue to hold discussion in Cairo for ceasefire in Gaza

NEW YORK (CIHAN)- At a briefing on Friday (25 July) in New York City, a UN Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General has been in intense discussions in Cairo with a number of key interlocutors, including the Egyptian Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State, as they work to build support for a cease-fire in Israel and Gaza.

Before leaving Cairo, Ban Ki-moon said that “progress is being made, but there is much more work to do. We may not be satisfied with what we are now proposing. But we have to build upon what we are now proposing. In the meantime, more children are dying every hour of every day.”

Commenting on Thursday’s attack of a school in Beit Hanoun, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters in New York “we need to be able to preserve inviolability of UN premises and you’ve seen dramatically the reason why that is. There were hundreds of people seeking safety and seeking refuge in our premises and now some of them have been killed and wounded as a result of this attack.”

He noted that the Secretary-General also spoke to the staff of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza by video link from Cairo, expressing “his deep appreciation and thanks for the brave work that they were doing.”

The staff briefed the Secretary-General on their efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza. He also heard about the daily challenges they face.

Haq stressed that a team from UNRWA, which included an international weapons expert, went to the school at Beit Hanoun to survey the aftermath of the attack but the team was forced to leave the area after gunfire was heard around the school.

He said the team will attempt to visit the site when the situation allows.

UNRWA figures as of 24 July show the number of displaced people in Gaza is now nearly triple the peak number from the 2008-2009 conflict, and exceeds 140,000 people who have sought refuge in 83 schools.