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Palestinian envoy pleads for UN action to stop Gaza violence
Published Wednesday 23/07/2014 (updated) 23/07/2014 19:49
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UNITED NATIONS (AFP) -- The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations held up photographs of children slain in Gaza and read out names of the dead on Tuesday as he pleaded for action from the Security Council.

"On behalf of the Palestinian people, we ask: What is the international community doing to stop this bloodletting, to stop Israel's atrocities?" Riyad Mansour said during a debate on the Gaza crisis.

Wearing a black ribbon, he showed photographs of families overcome with grief and of children's corpses, and read out the names of young victims who lost their lives. "Umama Al-Hayyeh, age 9; Dima Isleem, age 2; Mohamad Ayyad, age 2; Rahaf Abu Jumaa, age 4..."

During an emergency session on Sunday, the Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire and demanded protection for civilians, but it fell short of taking the stronger step of adopting a formal resolution.

"Without decisive action, the Council's resolutions and statements ring hollow as defenseless civilians find no relief from the murderous Israeli war machine," said Mansour.

Jordan submitted a draft resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire, protection for civilians and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

The draft text, seen by AFP, calls for lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza and renewed efforts to achieve a two-state peace deal for Israel and Palestine.

It remained unclear when the measure would come up for discussion before the divided Council, with the United States expected to raise objections over the text.

Envoys from some 60 countries lined up to address the Security Council as Israel kept up its barrage of shells and air strikes and Hamas militants hit back with rockets, pushing the Palestinian death toll to more than 600 -- including more than 150 children -- in a conflict now in its third week.

Israel's 'last resort'

Israel's deputy envoy asserted that his country was acting in self-defense against Hamas, which it accused of using Palestinian casualties as "fuel for a propaganda machine."

"This is not a war we chose. It was our last resort," said David Roet.

Arab countries however questioned Israel's claim that it was acting in self-defense, pointing to the heavy toll among Palestinian civilians, in particular women and children.

"The Torah says an eye for an eye. It never claimed 100 eyes for just one," said Egypt's Ambassador Mootaz Ahmadein Khalil.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Council by videolink from Ramallah that his efforts to secure a ceasefire had reached a "highly sensitive moment" and voiced hope for results "in the very near future."

World leaders have expressed alarm over the rising death toll, with US Secretary of State John Kerry also holding talks in Cairo to shore up Egypt's efforts to broker a truce.

US Ambassador Samantha Power warned that the humanitarian crisis could worsen in Gaza and stressed that "the only solution is an immediate ceasefire."

More than 100,000 Palestinians have fled their homes and are sheltering in schools run by the UN relief agency UNRWA.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
1 ) Tibi / Tubas
23/07/2014 14:47
The Envoy pleads in vain, since if the UN could act "to stop Gaza violence",
it would have stopped the same kind of war in Syria (100,000 dead),
during the last severals !! And,
* After their war experiences in 2006, 2009, and 2012,
Hamas certainly expected this, if they attacked Israel again, so
* If the Gaza Government (Hamas, Unity, militias, etc.) did
- NOT want this for the people of Gaza, then they should
- NOT have restarted launching rockets at Israel again !!

2 ) Outlier / USA
23/07/2014 15:52
Hams is responsible for this fight and hence Hamas is responsible for the consequences. Stop firing rockets, then ask for a ceasefire.

3 ) Omar / USA
23/07/2014 17:16
Tibi it's funny when people look at the issue from one side but forget what happen when Israel attacked Gaza for the three teen that were killed in the West Bank . So Hamas did not restarted launching Israel did get your facts right .

4 ) JoeFattal / USA
23/07/2014 17:38
@!) Israel started the whole thing. First by shooting farmers accross the border in Gaza, shooting at people picking up stones, than the situation in the West Bank about the three settlers, set up by Israel, and the others, their violent approach, search and seizure among the Palestinians in the West Bank. Israel made all its effort to agrravate the situation and instigate a provokation for Hamas to use their rockets which Israel knew they have and wanted them to use them against them.

5 ) nicole / Trinidad
23/07/2014 19:01
I am baffled at how long the UN is taking to stop the brutal murder of innocent children. There is a terrorist group in Gaza who fire rockets that AIM to kill civilians in Israel. Yet there are those in Israel KILLING men, women, children, Hamas you name it. Is that the solution to getting rid of the Hamas. What is Terrorism? Who is inflicting terror on civilians in Gaza. Hamas alone? To me there are terrorists on both sides. This war is God's WAR? Who made these weapons? GOD?

6 ) Scotty / UK
23/07/2014 19:10
Tubas, you are talking rubbish Israel have ALWAYS avoided making concession for a Palestinian State they want Greater Israel, a Zionist State as recent laws passed in Knesset shows. Gaza has been a prison subjected to Israelis whims and restrictions for years the tunnels are necessary for foodstuff, materials, livestocks etc and yes arms under International Law those who are Occupied have a right to defend themselves against the aggressor ....namely Israel with US in complicity.

7 ) Maureen / Australia
23/07/2014 20:00
#1 Tibi why should Palestinian people live on their knees? Suffer in silence under the boot of the war criminals of Zion?

8 ) Levi / USA
23/07/2014 23:47
Hamas does not want to stop Gaza violence, so says Khaled Meshaal. What can the UN do? The UN has stopped no conflict anywhere in the world, but they have fomented a few by their political biases.

9 ) Romero / Mexico
24/07/2014 23:11
Every country has a right to defend itself, and in this case, Gaza has such right. Israel is invading little by little occupying the west bank and terrorizing and killing children and women in the name of self defence. shame on you Israel!!!
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