Arab Envoys Urge Security Council to Discuss Gaza

July 9, 2014  

Arab envoys to the United Nations requested an urgent Security Council session on the situation in Gaza during a meeting Wednesday with the peace and security body’s president, AFP reported.

Kuwaiti ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi urged the council to “stop the Israeli aggression and collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” amid the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and the continued rocket barrage on Israel.

“I think it is about time the Council issue a statement or resolution” on this issue, he told reporters, speaking on behalf of the Arab bloc.

Rwandan envoy Eugene-Richard Gasana, who holds the council’s rotating presidency for July, “promised to convey this, and we expect a meeting in the near future,” al-Otaibi said.

Saudi ambassador Abdullah Al-Muallimi said that the IDF’s “disproportionate use of force is unjustifiable” and urged the council to “intervene immediately and take measures to protect the population.”

Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour accused the council of “dragging its feet while aggression and collective punishment are taking place.”

The Arab envoys did not call out Hamas for its endless rocket attacks against Israeli citizens nor its use of civilians as human shields.

Responding to the Arab envoys, Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor said that “Hamas started this and has left us no choice,” emphasizing that the Israeli army “uses precision strikes to avoid killing civilians.”

The council could meet before the end of the week with the goal of adopting a declaration condemning the rocket attacks while also “asking restraint on both sides,” a Western diplomat told AFP.

He said it was “difficult, but not impossible,” to get an agreement on such a proposal among the body’s 15 members.

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