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U.N. urges Hamas and Israel to resume fractured cease-fire agreement

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Hamas and Israel on Friday to return to the agreed-upon 72-hour cease-fire hours after it was violated.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   Aug. 1, 2014 at 3:12 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Hamas and Israel to resume the 72-hour cease-fire that was broken hours after it was implemented early Friday.

Ban called on both parties to "show maximum restraint" following the fractured humanitarian pause that resulted in the deaths of two Israeli soldiers and 70 Palestinians, as well as the abduction of one Israeli soldier.

He lambasted Hamas for violating the cease-fire while acknowledging "the U.N. has no independent means to verify exactly what happened."

Hamas and Israel blamed each other for violating the cease-fire first.

If Hamas was responsible for the collapse of the "much needed reprieve," the U.N. head questioned Hamas' credibility in offering assurances to the U.N.

Ban directed Hamas to release the captured Israeli soldier and that both parties observe the agreed-upon 72-hour cease-fire. He asked that "those with influence over the parties to do everything to convince them to observe the humanitarian cease-fire."

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