U.N. Security Council to meet on Mideast violence

Netanyahu and Ban enter the room before delivering a joint statement to the media in Jerusalem. (Reuters)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief the Security Council on Wednesday on his trip to the Middle East where he is seeking to defuse weeks of violence, diplomats said.

Ban made the request to urgently speak to council members by video-conference from the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah.

The closed-door emergency meeting is scheduled for 1900 GMT.

Ban paid a surprise visit to the region on Tuesday to personally deliver a warning to both Israelis and the Palestinians to stand back from a "dangerous abyss."

The U.N. chief met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was due to hold talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday morning.

More than 40 Palestinians, including alleged attackers, have been killed in the upsurge of violence that began at the beginning of the month. Eight Israelis have died in attacks.

Ban called for renewed negotiations after the peace process went into a deep freeze last year following the breakdown of a U.S. initiative.

"We must, for the future of our children, come back from this dangerous abyss, safeguard the two-state solution, and lead people back to the road toward peace," he said.

Ban's report from the region will come on the eve of a ministerial-level debate at the Security Council on the way forward in the Middle East amid fears that the violence could spiral out of control.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will also meet Netanyahu in Germany this week and Abbas later at an unspecified location in the Middle East.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45