Security Council Calls for End to Gaza Hostilities
The United Nations (UN) Security Council urged Israel and Hamas on Saturday to end their hostilities in Gaza, calling on both sides to respect "international humanitarian laws" and stop the loss of life, AFP reported.
In a unanimous declaration, the 15-member Council called for a de-escalation of the crisis and urged a return to the "calm and restitution of the November 2012 ceasefire."
The Council expressed "serious concern" over the "protection and welfare of civilians on both sides."
It also called for a return to the negotiating table by Israel and the Palestinian Authority "with the aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on the two-state solution," according to AFP.
The Council issued its declaration amid news that eight Palestinian Arabs were killed in a series of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza on Saturday.
Medics in Gaza told AFP that those attacks raised to 135 the number of Palestinian Arabs that have been killed since the counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge began.
The declaration by the Council came days after Arab envoys to the United Nations requested an urgent Security Council session on the situation in Gaza.
Earlier this week, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said that it was time for the UN Security Council to condemn Hamas’s indiscriminate attacks against millions of Israeli civilians.
“At this critical moment,” wrote Prosor, “the Security Council has an obligation to unequivocally condemn Hamas before it is too late. The very real danger of an even greater escalation hangs over the region. The Council must publicly denounce terrorism and call on President Abbas to dissolve the unity government before the situation further deteriorates.”
In a speech to the Security Council on Thursday, 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.