UN Security Council urges immediate Gaza ceasefire

UN Security Council urges immediate Gaza ceasefire
Mon Jul 28, 2014 13:17:23

The UN Security Council has called for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire" in the Israeli war on Gaza at an emergency meeting in New York.

The council met just after midnight (0400 GMT) Monday morning as Muslims of several countries started celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The pressure for a ceasefire followed new attacks exchanged by the Israeli regime forces and Palestinian resistance fighters on Sunday despite back-and-forth over proposals for another temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting. A 12-hour lull Saturday, agreed to by both sides following intense United Nations mediation efforts, could not be sustained.

The Security Council urged Zionist regime and Hamas "to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond." It said this would allow for the delivery of urgently needed assistance.

The council's presidential statement also called on the parties "to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected cease-fire, based on the Egyptian initiative."

The Palestinians and the Tel Aviv regime both criticized the statement adopted by the council.

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said the council should have adopted a strong and legally binding resolution a long time ago demanding an immediate halt to Israel's "aggression," providing the Palestinian people with protection and lifting the siege in the Gaza Strip so goods and people can move freely.

Nonetheless, Mansour expressed hope that the Zionist regime will "honor and respect" a new humanitarian ceasefire which the Palestinians hope will last "for a long time" so all outstanding issues can be addressed, especially the siege.

"You cannot keep 1.8 million Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip in this huge prison," he told reporters. "That is a recipe for disaster, it is inhumane, and it has to be stopped and it has to be lifted."

The Security Council is often deeply divided on Israeli-Palestinian issues, with the United States, the key ally of the Zionist regiem, often using its veto power to block any critical statements or resolutions pressed by the Palestinians and their supporters.


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