"Das Ausmaß der Gewalt in Gaza ist beispiellos in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten" / "The level of violence in Gaza is unprecedented in recent decades"
UN-Generalsekretär prangert israelische Angriffe auf Zivilbevölkerung an - Aufforderung zum Waffenstillstand / Ban again urges immediate Gaza ceasefire
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir einen Bericht über eine Rede, die Ban Ki-moon am 17. Januar 2009 in Beirut gehalten hat sowie einen Auszug aus der Rede, soweit sie sich mit dem aktuellen Krieg in Gaza befasst.
On Beirut stop of Mideast mission, Ban again urges immediate Gaza ceasefire
17 January 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Beirut on Saturday, again urged an immediate ceasefire to end the 22-day Israeli offensive in Gaza, calling on both sides to stop the fighting first and work out the details later in a bid to halt what he called an “unprecedented” level of violence.
“We have no time to lose. I demand, again, an immediate ceasefire,” Mr. Ban said in an address
to the Lebanese National Assembly.
“Both sides must first stop the fighting now. We cannot wait for all the details, the mechanisms, to be conclusively negotiated and agreed, while civilians continue to be traumatized, injured and killed,” he stated.
The Secretary-General arrived in Beirut as part of his ongoing visit to the region to help find a diplomatic solution to the crisis, which began on 27 December when Israel launched a military operation in Gaza with the stated aim of ending Hamas rocket attacks against Israel.
Three weeks of violence have already claimed over 1,000 lives, including many women and children, and wounded over 5,000, in addition to causing widespread destruction and tremendous suffering for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian residents.
“The level of violence in Gaza is unprecedented in recent decades,” he noted, citing the high numbers of casualties, the fact that hospitals are struggling to cope and that public infrastructure has been destroyed.
“There are no safe places,” he added, recalling that even UN shelters have not been able to provide sanctuary to civilians trying to flee the fighting, having come under fire several times in recent days.
Mr. Ban, who already met with officials in Cairo, Amman, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Ankara, said the goal of his mission is to boost diplomatic efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire, as called for by the Security Council last week in resolution 1860, and to ensure that urgent humanitarian assistance be provided, without restriction, to those in desperate need.
The Security Council's call for a ceasefire has so far gone unheeded. The UN General Assembly last night, following a two-day emergency meeting on Gaza, joined its voice to the Council by demanding full respect for resolution 1860, including its call for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces and unimpeded provision of humanitarian aid.
Yesterday Mr. Ban conferred with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, and called on Israel to unilaterally cease hostilities.
“There is no time to lose, I would even strongly urge [the] Israeli Government and leadership to declare unilaterally, so that there will be a relief for humanitarian workers and [the] people of Gaza,” he told reporters after meeting with Mr. Fayyad.
“We are very close to have an agreement to a ceasefire,” he added, urging those involved in negotiations to wrap them up as soon as possible. “That is what I will continue to work on over the coming few days.”
Speaking to the press after his talks with President Abbas, Mr. Ban said that more days of fighting will only lead to “more casualties, more losses of human lives, more destruction. I would urge again that a unilateral declaration of a ceasefire would be necessary.”
In his address today, the Secretary-General also lauded the progress made in Lebanon over the past year, with the election of President Michel Suleiman, the formation of a Government of national unity and the launching of a national dialogue.
“But this process is as fragile as it is vital,” he cautioned. “I urge you to nurture it, and not allow short-term factors to deter you from shaping solutions that will stand the test of time.”
He also noted that the Gaza conflict is not unlike the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah in which many innocent lives were lost. “I urge all parties in Lebanon and in Israel to continue to show restraint during this tense time in the region,” he said.
Following recent incidents of rocket launches from Lebanese territory into Israel, and Israel's return of fire, the Secretary-General has voiced his concern over any escalation of tension along the so-called Blue Line that separates Israeli and Lebanese sides, at a time when fighting continues in Gaza.
“Further attacks across the Blue Line would put at risk the stability brought about by resolution 1701,” he told Lebanese lawmakers, referring to the Security Council resolution that ended the 2006 war.
While in Lebanon, Mr. Ban also visited the UN Interim Force there – known as UNIFIL – where he met with Force Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano and his staff, and received a briefing on the situation in UNIFIL's area of operations and the work of the peacekeepers in collaboration with the Lebanese Armed Forces.
“UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces have together created a new security environment in south Lebanon,” he noted during the visit.
“This provides a window of opportunity for achieving a permanent ceasefire and long term solution to the conflict. For this to be successful, it is important for the parties to stay committed to the process towards the full implementation of resolution 1701.”
Beirut, Lebanon, 17 January 2009
Secretary-General''s address to the Lebanese Parliament
Your Excellency Speaker Berri of the Lebanese National Assembly, Your Excellency Prime Minister Siniora, Honorable Members of the Lebanese National Assembly, Excellencies, Cabinet Ministers, Distinguished Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am deeply honoured to address the Lebanese National Assembly.
I wish to thank Speaker Berri for according me this privilege.
This building and its magnificently restored surroundings are a fitting symbol of the indomitable spirit and resilience of the Lebanese people.
I thank you for this honour to speak to you here today.
I come here at a most difficult time for the region and the world. I have visited several countries to help find solutions to the tragic crisis in Gaza.
The goal of my mission is to step up the pace of our joint diplomatic efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire, to urge implementation of Security Council Resolution 1860, and to ensure that urgent humanitarian assistance be provided, without restriction, to those in desperate need.
The level of violence in Gaza is unprecedented in recent decades.
The Israeli aerial and land offensives against Hamas targets are inflicting heavy civilian casualties, widespread destruction and tremendous suffering for the entire population.
More than a thousand Gazans have died in less than three weeks. More than five thousand have been wounded. At the same time, rockets fired from Gaza threaten a million Israelis.
There are reports of very high numbers of women and children amongst the dead.
Hospitals are struggling to cope with the staggering number of seriously injured people.
Public infrastructure has been destroyed. There is no place left to bury the dead. There are no safe places.
And to my great dismay, even UN shelters have not been able to provide sanctuary to civilians trying to flee the fighting.
I have conveyed my strong protest and outrage against this attack as well as the attack on our UNRWA compound, and I have demanded a full explanation and apology. Although Israeli leaders have apologized for the latest attack, I have demanded an assurance that this will not happen again.
Here I must stress my support and deepest appreciation for the vital role being played by UNRWA in providing humanitarian and economic assistance.
UN staff in Gaza are doing valiant, life-saving work under appalling circumstances. I was unable to go to Gaza myself at the present time, although I had wanted to.
I had wanted to go to Gaza so as to be a witness to the suffering of Gaza civilians, and to show my solidarity with them and my UN staff there.
Instead, I spoke to them the day before yesterday via videolink, and was very touched and moved by their personal stories and experiences
Gaza's pain is felt by all of us. I know that it is felt throughout Lebanon, above all among the Palestinian community living in this country.
As we continue striving for the peace that has eluded us for too long, caring for Palestinian refugees remains a central concern for both the United Nations and your Government.
I commend Prime Minister Siniora and the Government for their efforts to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in Lebanon.
It is imperative that the international community continue supporting these efforts.
In particular, I call on donors to support the reconstruction of the Nahr el Bared camp.
It is my duty and moral obligation as Secretary-General of the United Nations to uphold the UN Charter and its principles.
Security Council resolution 1860 provides a clear framework for ending the current violence.
Our top priority must be to save lives now by immediately ending the violence through a ceasefire.
We must safeguard lives in the future by making sure that the ceasefire is durable and fully respected by all the parties.
And we must remember that there is no military solution to the challenges facing this region. Political solutions are needed as a matter of urgency – and as the most promising way forward.
Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel.
Israel must end its offensive in Gaza and withdraw its troops.
There should be no more illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition into Gaza.
The crossings from Gaza into Israel and Egypt must be opened and functioning in accordance with international agreements.
The Palestinians must be reconciled under the legitimate authority of President Abbas.
And the international community must provide practical support on the ground to help achieve these goals.
It is clear that we can no longer delay addressing the root causes of this crisis.
Israel must end its occupation of Palestinian and Arab territory which began in 1967.
All of the core issues of the peace process, without exception, must be resolved.
We tried hard to do that in 2008, and failed. We must not allow the same thing to happen in the year ahead.
This is the breadth of the task that we face in promoting a solution to this long conflict. But let me repeat my simple, core and immediate message.
Both sides must first stop the fighting now. We cannot wait for all the details, the mechanisms, to be conclusively negotiated and agreed, while civilians continue to be traumatized, injured and killed.
We have no time to lose. I demand, again, an immediate ceasefire.
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