Secretary General Ban Ki-moon late Wednesday said he discussed with UN Security Council (UNSC) members during their monthly working luncheon the "idea" of having an international presence in Gaza.
"This is an idea for which we need to explore the possibilities. I have initially exchanged views on this issue with the Security Council members just a while ago," Ban told reporters in answer to a question following the luncheon.
"I think there are many issues which we will have to consider ... if we agree, or if we decide to have an international presence in Gaza, where to locate them, what would be the terms of reference, what would their missions be, and all is not clear at this time," he explained.
He said he spoke on Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "who raised this issue to me, to consider this issue." He recalled that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also raised this issue.
Abbas suggested such a force some time ago, but Olmert rejected it. Now that Olmert wants it, the council will approve it, diplomats speculated.
"I have yet to discuss more in detail with the countries concerned," he noted
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