UN Secretary General Ben Ki-moon said Thursday that an Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip is still preventable if Hamas stops rocket fire.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, Ban expressed concern for the wellbeing of civilians in both Israel and Gaza, adding that the citizens of Gaza are caught between Hamas’ irresponsible behavior and Israel’s air strikes.

The secretary general expressed concern for civilian deaths, and said the current violence in Gaza shows the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians is unsustainable. […]