U.N. Security Council calls for Israel, Hamas to uphold ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:17pm EST

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council called on Israel and Hamas to uphold a ceasefire agreement on Wednesday and commended the efforts of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and others for brokering the deal.

The 15-member council also said in a statement that it "deplored the loss of civilian lives resulting from this situation and reiterated the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection in according with international humanitarian law."

Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement agreed on Wednesday to an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire to halt an eight-day conflict around the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 162 Palestinians and five Israelis.

"The members of the council called on the parties to uphold the agreement and to act seriously to implement its provisions in good faith," the council said. The members of the council strongly commend the efforts of Egyptian President Mursi and others to achieve the ceasefire."

It also praised the efforts of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who visited the region this week, and called on the international community to provide emergency aid, including food and medical supplies, for Palestinians in Gaza.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Paul Simao)

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