Security Council calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

The UN Security Council on Monday appealed for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza at a late-night emergency meeting called as fighting between Israel and Hamas entered its third week.

The 15-member Council released a statement calling for the truce to allow aid deliveries during the Muslim Eid festival marking the end of Ramadan, and as the death toll rose to more than 1,030 Palestinians.

The Council expressed “strong support” for an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire,” allowing for urgent deliveries of aid, and urged all sides to “accept and fully implement” the truce.

The statement was put forward by Jordan with the backing of Arab countries.

In its statement, the Council voiced “grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.”

The Council said “civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected” following outrage over the Israeli attack on a UN-run school in Gaza this week that left 15 dead.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor suggested the stance taken by the Council was biased.

“Miraculously it doesn’t mention Hamas. It doesn’t mention the firing of rockets. Those things are lacking in this statement, he said.

“You don’t have to have the IQ of a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets are falling on you, you are allowed to defend yourself.”

Source: AFP