Ban urges Gaza ‘humanitarian pause’

Cairo -

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for an immediate “humanitarian pause” in the fighting in Gaza and Israel lasting through the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

A woman weeps as she watches Palestinians mourners carry the body of Mohammed al-Araj during his funeral in the Qalandia refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Picture: Majdi Mohammed. Credit: AP

Ban's call came after several meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian officials aimed at ending the 18-day conflict that has killed more than 845 people, most of them Palestinian civilians.

“On this, the last Friday of Ramadaan, I call for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza and Israel. This pause would last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday period,” Ban said in a statement released by his office. - Sapa-AFP