U.N. chief Ban arrives in Israel for last-minute visit

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will arrive in Israel for a last minute visit to try to tamp down the current wave of violence.

Ban is scheduled to meet on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. He also is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, who assumed the position last week, also will arrive in Israel on Tuesday in order to attend Ban’s meeting with Netanyahu.

Ban released a video late on Sunday in order to “speak directly” to the Israeli and Palestinian people “about the dangerous escalation in violence across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, especially in Jerusalem.”


“I am dismayed – as we all should be – when I see young people, children, picking up weapons and seeking to kill. Violence will only undermine the legitimate Palestinian aspirations for statehood and the longing of Israelis for security.” he said in the video message.

In comments addressed to the Palestinian youth, Ban said: “I know your hopes for peace have been dashed countless times. You are angry at the continued occupation and expansion of settlements. Many of you are disappointed in your leaders and in us, the international community, because of our inability to end this conflict.”

To the Israelis he said: “When children are afraid to go to school, when anyone on the street is a potential victim, security is rightly your immediate priority. But walls, checkpoints, harsh responses by the security forces and house demolitions cannot sustain the peace and safety that you need and must have,” he said.

In a statement issued before he left for Israel, Danon said he hoped that Ban would “unequivocally condemn the incitement to violence of the Palestinian Authority.”

He said he would immediately return to New York for a U.N. Security Council meeting on the current wave of violence scheduled for Thursday.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.