UN Security Council holds urgent talks on Gaza

2014-07-21 15:39
Israeli missiles hit smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. (Hatem Ali, AP)

Israeli missiles hit smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. (Hatem Ali, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York -The UN Security Council on Sunday opened urgent talks on the escalating violence in Gaza, stepping up ceasefire efforts after more than 100 Palestinians died in a single day.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas had called for the emergency session, saying the "situation is intolerable" in Gaza and describing Israeli attacks as a "crime against humanity."

The 15-member Council met as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was holding talks with leaders in the region amid a spike in violence that killed more than 100 Palestinians in one day.

"We have to know from the secretary-general the result of his efforts, his travels and whether there is any hope of moving forward to a ceasefire," said French Ambassador Gerard Araud as he headed into the meeting.

More than half of Sunday's Palestinian victims were killed in a blistering hours-long Israeli assault on Shejaiya, near Gaza City, which began before dawn and has so far claimed 62 Palestinian lives, with another 250 wounded.

"A heinous massacre has been committed against our people in the Gaza Strip this morning," said the Palestinian representative to the UN, Ryad Mansour.

"There is no justification for this massacre committed against our people."

Agreement not reached

The Palestinian envoy called on the top world body to take decisive steps to end the violence, and voiced frustration with what he termed as the Council's failure to take a strong stand.

"The Council failed again and again to shoulder its responsibility," Mansour told reporters.

"We are coming back, knocking on the door of the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility and stop this massacre against our people," he said.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor shot back, saying that Israel had agreed to ceasefire offers from Egypt and was acting in self-defence.

"It is going to last as long as [until] Hamas stops firing indiscriminately at Israeli cities," he told reporters.

The Council's 15 members held a meeting on Gaza on Friday, but failed to reach agreement on a joint declaration. Diplomats said no formal statement was expected to emerge from the talks on Sunday, which were requested by Jordan.

Since the conflict began on July, the Council also held a first inconclusive meeting on 10 July before calling for a ceasefire in a unanimous declaration.

Ban, whose envoy negotiated a brief humanitarian truce last week, is in Doha as part of a Middle East tour to push truce efforts.

People living in fear

He condemned the "atrocious action" in Shejaiya and urged Israel to "exercise maximum restraint."

"Too many innocent people are dying... [and] living in constant fear," Ban told a news conference in Doha.

So far, truce efforts have been rejected by Hamas which has pressed on with its own attacks, undaunted by the Israeli bombardment by land, sea and air.

In the early hours of Monday Israeli jets carried out strikes throughout Gaza, including in southern Rafah and Khan Yunis and northern Beit Lahiya.

The current round of conflict began on 8 July, with Israel announcing on 17 July that it would undertake ground operations in Gaza.

Israel's UN ambassador also denied that an Israeli soldier had been abducted by Hamas militants, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City.

"Those rumours are untrue," said Prosor.

Read more on:    un  |  mahmud abbas  |  israel  |  peace  |  middle east  |  gaza
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
37 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Houses R 2 680 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.