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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

 

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UN chief calls for ‘immediate understanding’ on durable ceasefire in Gaza as violence returns -
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 20 (APP):  As renewed violence signalled the end of the latest Gaza ceasefire, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed grave disappointment at the return to hostilities and urged the parties to ‘reach an immediate understanding on a durable ceasefire which also addresses the underlying issues’.


Israel urged to provide human rights groups access to Gaza -
NEW YORK, Aug 20 (APP): Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the two leading rights watchdog bodies, Wednesday called on Israel to allow them immediate access to Gaza so that they can investigate allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict.


US paper slams Modi’s move to cancel Pak-India talks, calls it a fumble in leadership test -
NEW YORK, Aug 20 (APP): A leading American newspaper Wednesday criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling off foreign secretary-level talks, saying he “fumbled an early test of leadership”.


Destroyed Gaza needs new deal-style recovery plan: UN official -
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 20 (APP): Concerned by the many civilian casualties and the unprecedented scale of destruction resulting from deadly Israeli strikes, a senior United Nations official had urged the international community to rethink the Gaza paradigm.


Ambassador Jilani highlights investment opportunities for US investors in Pakistan -
WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (APP): Pakistan's ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani, highlighted investment opportunities existing in Pakistan, at a discussion with the Washington-based Business Council for International Understanding.


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Shaharyar chairs PCB’s board meeting
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KARACHI, Aug. 20 (APP): Riding on the crest-waves, Pakistan wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed has said that he got personal success by playing his natural game in Test series against Sri Lanka.
 
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Pakistan’s dream ends as Hamza crashes out in Asian 6-Reds semis
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Gaza ceasefire offers chance to address ‘root causes’ of Israel-Palestine conflict: UN official PDF Print E-mail
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 (APP): The head of the U.N. agency tasked with helping Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that the ceasefire halting the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza offered a chance to ‘address the real problems underlying the crisis’.It is of crucial importance that we seize the opportunity provided by this tragic escalation, the  Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), Filippo Grandi, said in remarks at a meeting of the body’s Advisory Commission, taking place by the Dead Sea in Jordan, according to a news release issued at UN Headquarters in New York. Difficult political work would have to be carried out, including promoting and supporting lasting Palestinian unity, he noted in reference to divisions among the wider Palestinian leadership, according to an UNRWA news release.
But failing to act now will have dire consequences, he added. The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, was announced on 21 November, just over a week after the start of the latest wave of deadly violence, which included massive Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Strip.In his remarks, Grandi also noted that an Israeli blockade on Gaza, imposed since 2007, was illegal, and the ‘greatest danger is to return to the status quo ante, and restore the prison-like conditions of Gaza.
He said it would be ‘only a matter of time (until) violence resumes’ if there was such a return. Grandi called for the blockade, which Israel has reportedly said it maintains for security reasons, to be lifted in all its aspects.
He mentioned crossings, fishing zones, imports and exports as aspects of the blockade in need of address, and said there should be proper guarantees given to  and by all parties in respect of the security of all civilians.
Created by the UN General Assembly in 1949, UNWRA is the main provider of education, health, social and other basic services to the five million registered Palestinian refugees in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The refugees trace their roots to those displaced amid the Arab-Israeli hostilities of 1948. The Assembly created the Advisory Commission, which comprises 25 UN Member States and three Observer entities, to ‘advise and assist’ UNWRA.
On Saturday, UNWRA said it re-opened all but two of its 245 schools in Gaza, according to the agency. It added that all 21 of its health centres resumed operations on Sunday, while it also named three crossings into the Strip that were open.
The fragile calm in Gaza seems to hold, UNRWA said in a situation report,while also highlighting that a Palestinian youth was killed and 19 other people injured on Friday by fire from the Israel troops.
The people of Gaza used the official holiday on Friday to mourn their beloved ones, to rest, and to somehow find a way back into daily life, the report noted.
The first heavy winter storms, accompanied by strong winds, rain, and cold temperatures, brought further hardship to all those living in damaged homes.
Grandi also briefed the Commission on UNRWA’s work amid the crisis in Syria, where many of UNRWA’s beneficiaries are located and where violence  since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began over 20 months ago  has killed at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, and spawned more than 440,000 refugees.
Concerns about the welfare of the half-million Palestine refugees there have grown as they are increasingly affected by the conflict, the Commissioner-General said. UNRWA’s strategy in Syria, as in Gaza, is to be there, to maintain services, and to address the growing emergency needs as much as possible.
 

     

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