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ICP Asks Why No UNSG Outreach to Hamas, Citing Qatar-Funded Jet

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 30 -- On Gaza when the UN's Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson and John Ging took questions on July 30, Inner City Press asked why Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has not directly reached out to Hamas, particularly since his flying to Doha on a Qatar-funded private jet would imply such a meeting could easily be arranged.

  Eliasson replied that “we have channels to Egypt, which is working closely with Israel, but also close contacts with Turkey and Qatar, which have relations with Hamas. The SG has worked intensely with these actors. We hope that the combined efforts from Egypt and Turkey and Qatar -- and the US which has been working very hard, and closing with SG -- that these attempts will be successful.”

  Citing the July 29 meeting of Israel's security cabinet, Eliasson said he personally made sure Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor “was aware that the SG's proposal were on the table... We are in contact with all the other actors. We don't feel any need at this stage to be in direct contact with Hamas.”

  Inner City Press began a follow-up question, like the UN Spokesman allowed to many others including the set-aside first questioner, but it was disallowed. There remain numerous unanswered questions about Ban accepting free private jet travel from member states with stakes in the conflicts being mediated.

  There's more to be said about how the questioning was run, including the first question set-aside and failure to hold a regular briefing to take for example questions on Africa and peacekeeping. Both failures and favoritism are opposed by the Free UN Coalition for Access which spoke quite audibly, for the record - and transcript when it comes out, watch this site.

  John Ging said that 249 children have been killed so far, 21% of those killed. He said that this time there have been four times more people displaced than in previous round(s). So far. Watch this site.


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