News Americas, UNITED NATIONS, NY, Sun. July 20, 2014: On a day when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in the strife-torn Middle East, both ambassadors’ of Israel and Palestine addressed the Security Council following an emergency meeting about the situation in the Middle East at United Nations headquarters on July 20, 2014.
Dr. Riyad H. Mansour, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, told the General Assembly they “called for this emergency meeting of the Security Council due to the existential crisis being faced by the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.”
“With every moment that passes, the life of another Palestinian child or mother or father is cruelly taken by the Israeli occupying forces in their murderous rampage of airstrikes and artillery bombardment against civilian areas and now a massive ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, threatening the safety and survival of the entire Palestinian civilian population,” hr said. “As we were driving to this meeting, four additional children were killed. There names are: Rizeq Al Hayek (age 2), Sarah Bustan (age 13), Imad Ilwan (age 7) Qasem Ilwan (age 10),” adding that in less than 24 hours, “this Israeli assault has killed more than 40 Palestinians, including many children.”
He urged the Security Council “to adopt a resolution that condemns the Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, calls for its immediate cessation, calls for the lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza Strip, and calls for protection of the Palestinian people since Israel, the occupying Power, has clearly forfeited its legal obligations to do so.”
Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, for his part, played fifteen seconds of a siren for the General Assembly telling those gathered “that’s how much time you have to run for your life.”
“Imagine having only 15 seconds to find a bomb shelter. Now imagine doing it with small children or elderly parents or an ailing friend,” he said. “As I speak, there is a storm of rockets being fired by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza. Hamas is intentionally and indiscriminately threatening the lives of three and a half million innocent men, women, and children in Israel from north to south – from Beersheba to Tel Aviv to Haifa. In the last three days, 442 rockets have been fired into Israel – that’s one every 10 minutes.”
For his part, he urged the Council to follow “only one responsible course of action” – “condemn Hamas. Condemn terrorism. Condemn the rocket fire. Call on President Abbas to dissolve the unity government and support Israel’s right to defend itself. It is the only way to achieve peace in our region.”
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.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has called Israel’s latest incursion “atrocious,” and said it must do far more to protect civilians.
A draft resolution calls 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. The draft also calls for “renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community” toward peace.