Security Council fails to agree on how to deal with Gaza crisis

UN Security Council meets behind closed doors after terrorists fire more than 500 rockets at southern Israel.

Elad Benari,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the escalation of violence in Gaza but there was no agreement on how to address the crisis, diplomats said, according to AFP.

Kuwait, which represents Arab countries at the council, and Bolivia requested the meeting following the worst flareup in Gaza since the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel.

Addressing reporters after the 50-minute meeting, Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy Riyad Mansour said the council was "paralyzed" and had "failed to shoulder its responsibility" to take action to end the violence.

"There is one country that is not allowing discussion at the council," Mansour told reporters, in a reference to the United States.

There was no statement from the council on the crisis. Such statements are agreed by consensus by all 15 council members.

Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi said the majority of council members were of the view that the top UN body "should do something" and some suggested a visit to the region, but no decision was taken.

Before the discussion began, Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, played the “Red Alert” air raid siren which is sounded in southern Israel whenever Gaza terrorists fire rockets at the region.

"Every time Hamas shoots a rocket - children at school, adults at work, families all over the country hear this," Danon said, adding, "Think of the children running fearfully into bomb shelters.”

"Certain morally bankrupt members of the Security Council will jump to blame Israel, and others who pretend to be objective will call for restraint on both sides. But let me be clear: there is no 'both sides'. There is Hamas that attacks and fires over 460 missiles at civilians, and there is Israel that protects its people. The Security Council must condemn Hamas for its aggressive assault and finally designate it as a terrorist organization," the ambassador added.

Gaza terrorists fired nearly 500 rockets and mortars toward southern Israel starting on Sunday night and until Tuesday afternoon. One person was killed and over 50 injured from rocket and mortar strikes, and a number of private homes were struck during the onslaught.

Around 5:00 p.m. Israel time on Tuesday, Arab media reported that an agreement on a ceasefire had been reached between Hamas and Israel. The agreement was achieved through Egyptian mediation.

Hamas confirmed the report that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire had been reached, but made it clear that the organization would be obligated to it only as long as the "Zionist enemy" fulfilled its commitment to the ceasefire.

On Monday, Danon called on the Security Council to condemn the firing of hundreds of rockets from Gaza at Israel.