Saturday, November 18, 2017

UN Security Council calls for ‘immediate and unconditional’ ceasefire in Gaza amid severe concerns over civilian death count


By Charlotte Drax - July 28, 2014
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

 Khalid Mashaal | Huffington Post

 

The UN Security Council called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza on Monday to allow for urgent aid to reach civilians as 'Operation Protective Edge’ entered its third week.  

The Council met today as Muslims started celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The 15-member Council released a statement shortly after midnight on Sunday urging all sides to accept and fully implement the truce “into the Eid period and beyond.” 

The statement 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.”

In the longer term, the Security Council statement urges the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, coexisting in peace “with secure and recognised borders.”

 “We are ready to coexist with Jews, but not occupiers”

In a televised interview on Sunday, exiled Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal said that the Palestinians cannot coexist with Israel while their land is illegally occupied. 

“I'm ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs. However, I do not coexist with the occupiers.”

"We are not fanatics, we are not fundamentalists. We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers," he went on to add.

Throughout the interview, Mashaal insisted that any lasting ceasefire must be based on an Israeli lifting of the blockade on Gaza. 

“Since 2006, when the world refused the outcomes of the elections, our people actually lived under the siege of eight years. It is - this is a collective punishment. We need to lift the siege. We have to have a port. We have to have an airport.”

Tentative Hope

Israel has signalled it could make concessions towards that end, but only if Hamas is stripped of its weapons.

“Hamas must be permanently stripped of its missiles and tunnels in a supervised manner,” Naftali Bennett, a member of the Israeli security cabinet, said on Facebook. “In return we will agree to a host of economic alleviations.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his forces would push on with attempts to destroy the group's tunnel network. 

Netanyahu also protested the statement issued by the UN Security Council in talks with UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday afternoon. According to Reuters, the Prime Minister told Ban that the UNSC's statement “relates to the needs of a murderous terrorist group that attacks Israeli civilians and has no answer for Israel's security needs.”

According to Al-Jazeera, at least 1,065 Palestinians have been killed and more than 6,200 injured since Israel launched its offensive on July 8. Israeli forces have also killed 11 Palestinians in solidarity protests across the West Bank. Israel has lost 43 soldiers, as well as two Israeli civilians and a Thai worker killed by rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza, according to the Israeli military

 

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