United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “deplored” the recent upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks, particularly in Europe, as a result of Israel’s operation in Gaza.
Ban “emphasizes that the conflict in the Middle East must not constitute a pretext for prejudice that could affect social peace and harmony anywhere,” read a statement issued Monday by his spokesman in New York.
Anti-Semitic attacks, violence and hate speech have increased as a result of demonstrations throughout Europe and elsewhere against Israel’s military effort in Gaza to eradicate Hamas tunnels and rocket fire from the coastal strip.
Ban in the statement also called for an “immediate cessation of violence” in Gaza and negotiations.
The statement came a day after Ban condemned the shelling of a U.N. school serving as a shelter for displaced Gazans, calling it “yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law.” The United Nations and the Palestinians blamed Sunday’s shelling, which killed at least 10 Palestinians, on Israel.