Ban stresses concern over stalled peace talks in phone call with Israeli

Both leaders discussed the recent violence affecting Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, with Mr. Ban saying that he hoped that the Mr. Netanyahu “would act with wisdom and restraint,” according to a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Secretary-General. Mr. Ban took note of Mr. Netanyahu’s concerns about possible flotilla shipments to Gaza, stressing to those planning to send humanitarian assistance to the enclave that there are land routes available. The Secretary-General reiterated that Israel, for its part, should take meaningful steps to end the blockade of Gaza. They also discussed ongoing developments in the Arab world. Last month, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, told a meeting of the Security Council that violence was on the rise with Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at a standstill, and called for an end to the impasse. The past month has been marked by an increase in violence and tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. Talks between the two sides have been stalled since late September following Israel’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory. That decision prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Mr. Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus. 1 April 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed his concern over the current difficulties in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians during a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.