Ban calls destruction of Gaza a 'man-made hurricane'

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for all sides in the conflict to be held accountable for 'this outrageous crime'

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for all sides in the conflict to be held accountable for 'this outrageous crime'

UNITED NATIONS – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has likened the destruction in Gaza to a “man-made hurricane.”

Speaking to journalists in New York on Monday, Ban called for the violence in Gaza to stop “in the name of humanity.”

He said the world had witnessed “scenes of indiscriminate destruction” in the Palestinian enclave. “Some described it as a man-made hurricane – whole neighborhoods reduced to debris, rubble; blocks of flattened apartment buildings; scores of bodies still buried under mountains of twisted wreckage.”

At least 1,055 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, have been killed since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 7, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Ban said “all occupying powers have an international legal obligation to protect civilians” and called for accountability for “this outrageous crime.”

He added: “There must be accountability and justice for crimes committed by all sides.”

More than 173,000 civilians are seeking protection in UN facilities, about 10 percent of the population, according to the UN.

Ban said: “I repeat yet again my call on Israel and all parties to do vastly more to ensure the safety of these UN sites and the security of the people who have sought sanctuary there.”

He said he had talked to Turkish leaders on Sunday about the crisis, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

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