Abbas Asks for 'Protection for Palestine'
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask the United Nations to put “the state of Palestine” under "international protection" due to the worsening violence in Gaza, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Sunday.
According to AFP, the PLO said in a statement that Abbas presented a letter to this effect to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed receipt of the letter.
"We ... will need to study it before responding further," Haq said in a short statement quoted by AFP.
The PLO added that Abbas also wants a commission of inquiry into Israel's airstrikes on Gaza
Abbas is "undertaking several steps and measures to deal with the horrific situation in Gaza," senior PLO member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement after a meeting of the PLO executive.
Abbas has asked Switzerland, the depository of the fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in wartime, to ask signatories to place sanctions on Israel.
Its recognition by the UN as a non-member state has allowed the PA to sign several international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions.
Ashrawi said that when Arab League foreign ministers meet in Cairo on Monday to discuss the Gaza crisis, the PA would ask them to "adopt a draft resolution at the ministerial level" to be presented to the UN Security Council.
The PA would also seek an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council "to deal with the grave conditions in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its violations of international law and international humanitarian law," she added, according to AFP.
Abbas last week threatened to turn to the international community over Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza as part of Operation Protective Edge.
A day earlier, he called on Ban to form an international committee to monitor and investigate what he referred to as “crimes by Israeli settlers.”
On Saturday, the UN Security Council urged Israel and Hamas to end their hostilities in Gaza, calling on both sides to respect "international humanitarian laws" and stop the loss of life.
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.