UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today (October 12, 2014) that this summer's war between Israel and Hamas was the result of Israeli occupation, and called on both sides to participate in talks for a two-state solution, The Jerusalem Post website reports.
"We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights, and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations," Ban said at a donor conference in Cairo today. The conference's purpose is to raise funds to repair damage from the Gaza fighting.
"I call on all parties to come together to chart a clear course towards a just and final peace -- including achieving a full lifting of the blockade, ensuring Israel's legitimate security concerns; and establishing two states living side by side in peace and security."
Ban said a return to the status quo is not an option. "This is the moment for transformational change," he said.