WASHINGTON – The Palestinians are asking the United Nations Security Council to take steps against the ongoing Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip, in the wake of the deaths of close to 20 Palestinians in recent days as a result of IDF strikes.
Representatives of the Arab group in the U.N. convened in New York in order to coordinate their efforts. Following the meeting, they decided to request a Security Council condemnation of Israeli strikes in Gaza.
However, some Arab states, and also some members of the Security Council, are calling on the Palestinians to come up with a more balanced draft that also includes a call to end Qassam rocket fire at Israel. The balanced draft also includes a demand for Hamas to recognize Israel and honor agreements with the Jewish state, while also curbing terrorism.
Palestinian U.N. observer Riyad Mansour noted in a letter to the Security Council that 18 Palestinians were killed in IDF strikes in Gaza since Friday, including children. Mansour said the PA wanted to end the Israeli offensive in Gaza at once and warned the escalation threatens international peace and security.
Mansour added that the international community must intervene in order to prevent further deaths and destruction and cannot stand idly by while men, women and children continue to die.
On Monday, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan issued a balanced announcement on the matter. Annan expressed concerns about the escalation in Gaza, Qassam fire at Israel, the suicide bombing last week, and Israel's retaliation.
Annan called on the Palestinian Authority to adopt a clear stance against violence and immediately act against Qassam rocket launching cells and suicide bombers. At the same time, he called on the Israeli government to ensure its response is proportional and does not harm civilians.