Ban, Ashton Condemn Gaza Rocket Attack

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned a retaliatory rocket attack from Gaza Strip which killed an Israeli civilian, stressing that all acts of violence are “totally unacceptable.”

“All such acts of terror and violence against civilians are totally unacceptable and contrary to international law,” Ban’s spokesperson said on Thursday in a statement issued in Moscow, where the UN chief will be meeting with other members of the Middle East Quartet tomorrow.

A 30-year-old Thai foreign worker was killed Thursday after a Qassam rocket hit a greenhouse in Netiv Ha’asara in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, north of the Gaza Strip.

The 19 March meeting brings together the UN, the European Union, the United States and Russia. Last week, the Quartet called for the urgent resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians to resolve all outstanding issues of the conflict.

Ban hopes the meeting will kick-start Middle East peace negotiations, which stalled following the devastating 22-day military offensive Israel launched in December 2008 on the Gaza Strip.

The meeting comes amid new tensions between the Palestinians and the Israelis which started when Israel announced a new plan to build 1,600 new Jewish homes in a West Bank area it has annexed to East Jerusalem (al-Quds).

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also denounced the rocket attack from Gaza on Israel.

"I condemn any kind of violence, we need to move forward to get the peace process moving toward a successful resolution," Ashton told reporters in Gaza.

The rocket exploded inside the greenhouse, causing it and adjacent greenhouses severe damage. Combat engineers spent a considerable amount of time dismantling and collecting the rocket’s remains.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — the armed wing of the Fatah movement — claimed responsibility for the rocket attack.

(Press TV)

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