UN chief calls on Israel, PA to fight ‘extremism’

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Israelis and Arabs not to prevent an escalation in violence in the region, as he arrived as part of a Middle East tour.

"Do not allow the extremism on either side to fuel the… conflict," he said in remarks at Tel Aviv University.

"Palestinians and Israelis leaders must stand firm against violence, terror and incitement."

The UN chief continued the theme at a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem.

“Stabbings, bombings and shootings will not achieve anything because violence is never a solution," he said.

The United Nations Secretary General is to hold talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, as part of a packed schedule in which he will also visit the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, as well as Judea and Samaria.

Calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state, Ban condemned the “occupation” for “undermining” regional peace.

"Nearly 50 years of occupation has had a devastating impact on Palestinian lives undermining the belief in a peaceful resolution to the conflict," Ban said in Jerusalem. "It also has not brought security to the Israelis.”

"I firmly believe that a negotiated two-state solution remains the only viable option to prevent a perpetual conflict," he added.

Netanyahu was originally expected to meet Ban on Monday but he was in Rome for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on stalled peace efforts with the Palestinian Authority.

That meeting came ahead of a report by the Quartet — the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia — on the negotiating process.

The review by the diplomatic contact group is expected to be critical of Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria.

"I encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to engage with the Quartet on its recommendations and on creating the conditions for the resumption of meaningful negotiations," Ban said.

He kicked off his Middle East tour in Kuwait on Sunday.

On Tuesday he goes to Gaza to inspect a UN-run girls primary school, then on to Ramallah in for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

AFP contributed to this report

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214154

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