U.N. Chief Makes Surprise Visit

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) is welcomed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2nd L) is welcomed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a surprise visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday, in a high-profile gambit to bring an end to the current wave of violence.

Ban left from Europe to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin in Yerushalayim and PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

The trip was announced in Israel only hours before his expected arrival.

Prior to the visit, Ban issued a video message late Monday calling for calm on both sides.

He said he understood the Palestinians’ frustrations, but that violence would only harm their hopes for independence. Addressing Israelis, he said he understood their fears due to the security deterioration, but said there was no military solution.