Ban: Concerned by escalation of violence
Photo: AFP

UN chief 'concerned' about Gaza violence

Ban Ki-moon laments incident in which two IDF soldiers were killed, calls for 'maximum restraint'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday he was concerned about a clash in the Gaza Strip in which two Israeli soldiers were killed.


"I am very concerned at the escalation of violence and loss of life yesterday in the vicinity of the Gaza border," Ban told a news conference on the sidelines of an Arab League summit in the Libyan town of Sirte.


"I reiterate my appeals made during my recent visit for maximum restraint and an end to all violence, in particular at this critical time when we are engaged in efforts to revive peace talks."


Ban was referring to Friday's incident, in which 32-year-old Major Eliraz Peretz and 21-year-old Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky were killed in an exchange of fire with terrorists on the Gaza border. Two Palestinians were killed while trying to plant an explosive device near the border fence.


Two hours later, two more Palestinians were killed in another incident in the area. They were spotted by an IDF force trying to plant an explosive device near the border fence and shot.


The commander of this force was the officer involved in an incident of friendly fire that occurred in Gaza earlier this week, in which a soldier was killed. He led his soldiers into a gun battle in which they were mistaken for terrorists and opened fire upon by Golani soldiers.


On Saturday morning the violence continued when a Qassam was fired towards Shaar HaNegev Regional Council. Meanwhile IDF bulldozers are accompanying IDF tanks in scanning the area on the Palestinian side of the border fence in order to locate other explosive devices. Bushes have been removed in order to improve intelligence.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 03.27.10, 19:22
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