United Nations News Service 30 January 2007
Spokesperson's Noon Briefing
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICES OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
AND THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today's noon briefing by Michèle Montas, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly, Ashraf Kamal.
Briefing by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
** Middle East Statement
A statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Secretary-General has noted today's announcement of an agreed ceasefire in Gaza, and commends Egypt for its continuing efforts to calm a volatile and worrying situation. He calls for all parties to abide by the terms of the ceasefire and to move quickly back to the process of national dialogue in the pursuit of national unity.
**Questions and Answers
Question: You read a statement about the situation in Gaza before and I know it's difficult to change terminology, but we have a new Secretary-General now, so let me try it again. A year and half after the last Israeli withdrew from Gaza, the UN system still refers to Gaza as an Occupied Palestinian Territory. The only people who are not Palestinian in Gaza currently are UN people. Do you mean that Gaza is occupied by the UN?
Spokesperson: Definitely not.
Question: So who is it occupied by?
Correspondent: I think there are some Israeli soldiers on the border…
Question: Not borders, who is Gaza occupied by?
Spokesperson: Traditionally, this is the terminology we have used. Yes?
Question: But the situation on the ground changed since Israel withdrew from Gaza.
Spokesperson: I will look into this.
Correspondent: Thank you.
Scott Charles Arnson
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