UN pledges to rebuild Gaza for the `last time`
United Nations: The United Nations is ready to help rebuild Gaza but for the last time, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday.
Ban opened a special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly with an appeal for a lasting peace as a 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was holding for a second day.
"The senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel must end," he told the 193-nation assembly.
After three wars in Gaza in six years, the UN secretary general warned that the world`s patience with the Israelis and the Palestinians was being tested.
"Do we have to continue like this -- build, destroy, and build and destroy?" Ban asked.
"We will build again but this must be the last time -- to rebuild. This must stop now."
Four weeks of fighting in the Gaza Strip has killed 1,875 Palestinians and 67 Israelis, with nearly half of Gaza`s 1.8 million people driven from their homes.
UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry said the destruction and death toll from the latest fighting was worse than the 2008-2009 conflict.
The UN General Assembly was convened at the request of Arab countries, who have criticized the Security Council for failing to adopt a strongly-worded resolution to press Israel and Hamas to stop.
Jordan has circulated a draft resolution in the Security Council calling for a ceasefire, a lifting of the Israeli blockade of
Gaza and an investigation of attacks on UN-run schools, used as shelters by civilians.
The document has yet to come up for a vote.
The 15-member Council adopted a statement on July 27 calling for a ceasefire and expressing support for Egypt`s mediation efforts after the United States dropped reservations that such a text would single out Israel.
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