UN Security Council calls for cease-fire in Gaza Strip

UN Security Council calls for cease-fire in Gaza Strip
Sat Jul 12, 2014 23:11:58

The UN Security Council has called for a cease-fire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Israel steps up its illegal airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip.

All 15 members approved a council statement calling for de-escalation of the violence, restoration of calm and a resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The statement calls for "the reinstitution of the November 2012 cease-fire" brokered by Egypt, but gives no time frame for when it should take effect.

Palestinian UN envoy, Riyad Mansour, said the Palestinians' understanding was that the cease-fire should go into effect immediately.

He said the Palestinians would be watching closely to see if the Israelis respond to the council's call, stressing that if they continue their assault on civilians "we have a lot of tools in our arsenal."

The press statement, which is not legally binding but reflects international opinion, is the first response by the UN's most powerful body, as Israeli warplanes and artilleries continue to pound many residential areas and several locations in the coastal enclave for the fifth consecutive day.

The United States, Israel's staunch ally, has defended the Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip. But other council members have decried the Israeli attacks which have killed or injured more than 1,000 Palestinians.

The council statement does not directly mention Israeli offensive against civilians, instead, it expresses "serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides" and calls for "respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians."


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