UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on Gaza

UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on Gaza

PanARMENIAN.Net - The UN Security Council held an emergency session late Sunday, July 20, on the worsening situation in Gaza expressing "serious concern" about the rising civilian death toll and demanding an immediate end to the fighting, the Associated Press reports.

The council met at the request of Jordan, which proposed a more strongly worded draft resolution for consideration. The resolution, obtained by the AP, expressed "grave concern" at the high number of civilians killed in Gaza, including children, and called for an immediate ceasefire, "including the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip."

The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting on Sunday killed at least 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhoods.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called Israel's latest incursion "atrocious," and said it must do far more to protect civilians.

The draft resolution, according to the AP, called for the protection of civilians, the lifting of the "Israeli restrictions imposed on the movement of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip" and immediate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

But Jordan's proposed resolution was not discussed, and the acting council president, Rwanda's UN Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana, emerged to read elements of a more limited press statement that called for the need to improve the humanitarian situation in the region and welcome Egypt's efforts to broker a ceasefire.

The Palestinian United Nations envoy, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, was disappointed. "We were hoping for the Security Council to adopt a resolution to condemn the aggression against our people," he told reporters. But he said Sunday's council statement was "a test" for Israel to see if it would comply.

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