UN calls for Israel-Palestinian ceasefire


The U.N. Security Council on Saturday called for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine after five days of shelling in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement approved by all 15 members, the council called for a de-escalation of violence, restoration of calm and renewed direct negotiations between the two sides based on a two-state solution.

The statement does not provide a time frame for when the ceasefire should take effect.

Jerusalem has waged a five-day rocket campaign against what it says are Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. More than 120 have been killed and roughly 920 wounded during the campaign.

The Palestinian envoy to the international body said his government interpreted the statement to mean the ceasefire should start right away, according to media reports.

The statement itself is not legally binding, nor does it mention Hamas or the Israeli response. Rather it expresses “serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides.”