UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council is calling for a cease-fire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict centered on Gaza.
A council statement approved Saturday by all 15 members calls for de-escalation of the violence, restoration of calm and a resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.
The press statement expresses "serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides." It calls for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.
The press statement, which is not legally binding but reflects international opinion, is the first response by the U.N.'s most powerful body, which has been deeply divided on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.