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U.N. Security Council Calls for Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire

The U.N. Security Council called on Saturday for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and expressed serious concern about the welfare and protection of civilians.

"The Security Council members called for de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, and reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire," the 15-member body said in a unanimous statement.

It also expressed "serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides" and called for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians. They also called "for the resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians with the aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on the two-state solution".

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour accused the Secrity Council of dragging its feet and said Saturday's statement had only been agreed after the Arab Group, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement threatened to push for a resolution on the issue.

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