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UN chief: "Too many Palestinian and Israeli mothers are burying their children"

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UN chief: "Too many Palestinian and Israeli mothers are burying their children"

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There is a fresh call from the UN chief for dialogue over Gaza, but no word on progress on his efforts to broker a truce.

After talks in Tel Aviv, Ban Ki-moon did not repeat specific concern he voiced earlier about the high number of civilian Palestinian casualties.

“Too many Palestinian and Israeli mothers are burying their children,” said the UN Secretary General, standing alongside the Israeli PM.

He added: “My message to Israelis and Palestinians is the same: stop fighting, start talking and take on the root causes of the conflict, so we are not back to the same situation in another six months or a year.”

Ban Ki-moon said “no country would accept rockets raining down on its civilians”, but he also urged Israel to exercise “maximum restraint”.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, said: “I believe that you (Ban Ki-moon) understand that it is the right of every state to defend itself and Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend its people. Mr. Secretary, this is not only our right, this is our duty.”

Neither Netanyahu nor Ban Ki-moon made any reference to the latest efforts by the UN and the US to broker a ceasefire.