The UN Security Council considers the situation in Gaza

UN Security Council considers situation in Gaza

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The UN Security Council met on Monday afternoon to urgently discuss the situation in Gaza, with several members raising concerns despite the truce between Islamic Jihad and Israel after three days of deadly conflict.

Speaking via video at the start of the talks, the UN envoy for the Middle East Tor Wennesland warned against a resumption of hostilities which would have “devastating” consequences: “the ceasefire is fragile”, he insisted. 

“We are very concerned about events that could lead to the resumption of a full-fledged military confrontation and the aggravation of an already terrible humanitarian situation in Gaza,” said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

The truce came into effect at 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday and was negotiated by Egypt, a historic intermediary between Israel and the Palestinian armed groups, but the two belligerents have nevertheless indicated that they reserve the right to respond to violations by the other party.

The Israeli army presented its operation launched on Friday as a “preemptive attack” against Islamic Jihad, during which its main military leaders in Gaza, Tayssir Al-Jabari and Khaled Mansour, were killed.

Between the start of this Israeli operation and Sunday evening, 46 Palestinians, including 16 children, died and 360 were injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Israeli authorities have claimed that some of the Palestinians killed may have perished due to failed Islamic Jihad rocket fire at Israel, which fell in the Palestinian enclave.

“The assessment of the incidents by the UN is ongoing,” noted Tor Wennesland, indicating that “about 20%” of the 1,100 rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups may have fallen in the Gaza Strip.

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Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan judged “entire” responsibility for Islamic Jihad, which he accused of using the inhabitants of Gaza as a “human shield”.

“If the Council really wants to improve the situation in Gaza, there must be one outcome, condemning Palestinian Islamic Jihad and holding terrorists fully responsible for the killings of innocent Palestinians,” he told Security Council members. .

“This Council should be able to unite and wholeheartedly disavow Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorism, and its dangerous actions that put civilian lives at risk on both sides,” responded the US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, supporting “Israel's right to defend its people”.

According to several diplomatic sources, however, no Security Council statement is expected following the consultations behind closed doors of the Security Council which began after this public debate.

“Are you ready to say +enough is enough? “Despite everything launched the Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour, denouncing an” unjustified aggression “on the part of Israel. “How many more children do we have to bury before someone says 'enough is enough'?