UN chief calls on Israel to give Palestinian deal a chance


UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give the new Palestinian unity deal a chance to lead to an historic peace accord.
The UN secretary general also spoke out against Israel’s move to freeze payments to the Palestinian Authority after president Mahmud Abbas signed a reconciliation deal with the militant Hamas group which controls Gaza, a UN spokesman said.
In telephone talks with Netanyahu, Ban reaffirmed UN support for Palestinian unity under the leadership of Abbas and in line with the diplomatic Quartet demands that Palestinians renounce violence and recognize Israel.
“The secretary general also noted that Palestinian unity is a process which is just beginning now, and thus, it would be best to assess it as it moves forward,” said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. He urged Israel “not to stop transferring tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.”