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The World this Week - September 19th, 2014

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UN's Ban urges Gaza 'humanitarian pause' for Muslim holiday

AFP

An Israeli army armoured personnel carrier (APC) moves along Israel's border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on July 25, 2014An Israeli army armoured personnel carrier (APC) moves along Israel's border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on July 25, 2014

An Israeli army armoured personnel carrier (APC) moves along Israel's border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on July 25, 2014An Israeli army armoured personnel carrier (APC) moves along Israel's border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on July 25, 2014

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for an immediate "humanitarian pause" in the fighting in Gaza and Israel lasting through the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Ban's call came after several meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian officials aimed at ending the 18-day conflict that has killed more than 845 people, most of them Palestinian civilians.

"On this, the last Friday of Ramadan, I call for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza and Israel. This pause would last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday period," Ban said in a statement released by his office.

Ban said a halt in the fighting could lead to a "longer-term ceasefire plan".

"But surely all parties can accept to lay down their arms for this holy period of celebration and reflection. Surely all can agree to stop killing each other for at least this brief span of time," he said.

"The Eid humanitarian pause can and should take effect immediately -- without conditions, without excuses, without delay."

Date created : 2014-07-25