UN chief Ban Ki-moon pleaded for an end to spiraling violence on Wednesday as he met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to calm weeks of deadly unrest. The UN secretary general’s meeting with Abbas came after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, when he called on both sides to end a “dangerous escalation” threatening a full-scale uprising. Ban, at least publicly, offered no concrete proposals to end the unrest, but spoke of returning to “meaningful negotiations,” after more than a year of frozen peace efforts and seething frustration with Israel’s occupation.
“We will continue to support all efforts to create the conditions to make meaningful negotiations possible,” Ban told journalists after meeting Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “But ultimately it is for Palestinians and Israelis to choose peace. Our most urgent challenge is to stop the current wave of violence and avoid any further loss of life.” Ban said that “the only way to end the violence is through real and visible progress toward a political solution, including an end of the occupation.” FULL REPORT