Israel Ambassador Sounds Siren at UN
Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor played the chilling wail of Israel's air raid warning from his mobile phone and said Hamas was threatening the lives of 3.5 million innocent men, women and children across the Jewish state.
"Fifteen seconds, that's how much time you have to run for your life," he told the Council blaming Hamas for putting the lives of Palestinian as well as Israeli civilians at risk.
While Israel gives innocent Palestinian civilians prior warning of air strikes, Hamas tells them to stand on rooftops to act as human shields, he said.
He called on the world to denounce, dismantle and delegitimize Hamas, which he said was part of the global threat posed by terror groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.
As the IDF on Thursday afternoon warned 100,000 Gaza residents to leave the security border, possibly indicating an imminent ground offensive, both the United Nations and the United States have called for a ceasefire.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday while in China said both sides had reached a "dangerous moment," and that he has urged a ceasefire, reports AFP.
Kerry said he had spoken with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas "to see whether or not there's some capacity to be able to restore the status quo ante with respect to a ceasefire."
"We're already engaged in trying to see if it is possible to bring an end to the violence and find a different way forward," said Kerry. "No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support completely Israel's right to defend itself against these vicious attacks."
Kerry concluded "de-escalation ultimately is in the interests of all parties, in the interests of the region, in the interests of Israel and the Palestinians," arguing that Israel must try "to de-escalate in the way that accomplishes all of those goals of protecting Israel, while at the same time not seeing innocent people drawn into the line of fire."
It should be noted that Hamas has openly called for Gaza residents to serve as human shields, continuing its policy of placing civilians on the roofs of targeted terrorists' homes which the IDF has exposed through video and photographic evidence.
Interestingly, Hamas blamed Kerry for the IDF operation, saying he allowed Israel “to kill at will” in Gaza when he said earlier this week that Israel had a right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks.
UN "concerned about Palestinian deaths"
Also calling for a ceasefire on Thursday was UN Secretary of General Ban Ki-Moon, who said "it is now more urgent than ever to try to find common ground for a return to calm and a ceasefire understanding," reported AFP.
Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, Ban said Gaza terrorists have fired over 550 rockets into Israel since Operation Protective Edge began Monday. He claimed 88 Arab residents of Gaza have been killed, and roughly 150 houses destroyed or damaged.
"Once again civilians are paying the price for the continuation of conflict. My paramount concern is the safety and well-being of all civilians no matter where they are," said Ban. "Israel has legitimate security concerns but I am also concerned at the many Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of Israeli operations."