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Ban: Work to lower new Mideast tensions

Nov. 12, 2012 at 4:04 PM

GAZA, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on both sides to lower tensions amid more deadly violence in Gaza and southern Israel, his office said Monday.

"The secretary-general reiterates his call for an immediate cessation of indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants targeting Israel and strongly condemns these actions," Ban said in a statement issued by his office. "He calls on Israel to exercise maximum restraint."

Media reports indicate sporadic missile fire from Gaza hit southern Israel Monday for the fourth consecutive day. Also, six Palestinians, including two militants, reportedly were killed during Israeli airstrikes on Gaza after a militant attack on an Israeli military vehicle.

The secretary-general "deplores the loss of life and calls for an immediate de-escalation of tensions," the statement said. "Both sides should do everything to avoid further escalation and must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of civilians at all times."

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