The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his disappointment and shock over the new escalation in Gaza on Thursday night, a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York said, SIA reports quoting the AA.

"He is disappointed that, notwithstanding United Nations efforts, the parties could not build on today’s promising humanitarian pause to achieve a lasting ceasefire," the statement reads.

He said the escalation will inevitably increase the already appalling suffering of the affected civilian populations.

Ban stressed Israel has to do "far more to stop civilian casualties in conjunction with the ending of its ground offensive and Hamas' indiscriminate firing of rockets.

In particular, the UN statement emphasized the "regrettable number of incidents" with many civilian deaths, including the killing of four Palestinian boys on a beach in Gaza City prior to the beginning of the Israeli ground offensive on Gaza.

"All parties must respect international humanitarian and human rights law, and there must be accountability for any breaches of those obligations," Ban said.

The Secretary-General reiterated his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, urging regional and international partners "to exert all possible influence" to stop the bloodshed in this conflict.

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