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UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on Gaza

NEW YORK, 21st July, 2014 (WAM) -- UN Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Doha, the first leg of a Middle East tour which aims to end the conflict.

Following a late-night closed-door meeting, Ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana of Rwanda, which holds the Security Council's rotating presidency for July, told reporters that the Council had a "sober" meeting given the seriousness of the situation.

In elements to the press, Mr. Gasana said the members of the Council called for an immediate ceasefire and respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.

The 15-member Council also emphasized the need to improve the humanitarian situation, including through humanitarian pauses, such as the five-hour truce brokered last week by the Secretary-General's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in the region as part of a visit which aims to express solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians and help bring about a ceasefire.

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