Israel defended its bombing campaign in Gaza at the UN on Sunday, ensuring that it is taking all possible measures to protect civilians, and has accused Hamas of being responsible for the deaths and initiating the current hostilities. For his part, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al Malki, has demanded that the international community condemn the attacks and take measures to stop this “aggression” and to end the “apartheid” created by the Israeli authorities.
This Sunday’s meeting in the Security Council has been called urgently before the escalation of violence experienced during the last week in the territory and it is the third that the highest decision-making body of the UN celebrates since the outbreak of violence in the Middle East.
So far, the Council has not officially ruled on the situation since the United States has stopped a consensus statement promoted by other countries, according to diplomatic sources.
Minutes before the meeting, the Secretary General of the Organization, António Guterres, spoke to ask Israelis and Palestinians to immediately stop the fighting and return to the negotiating table to achieve a sustainable solution to the conflict in the Middle East.
“The fight must end. It must stop immediately. Rockets and mortars on the one hand and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must cease“, has requested at the opening of the meeting.
The secretary general has warned that the fighting may drag “Israelis and Palestinians into a spiral of violence with devastating consequences for the two communities and for the entire region.”
The meeting comes after Israel increased its offensive in Gaza on Saturday, with bombings that left dozens of dead and thousands of injured. So much so that Egypt decided to open the Rafah crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip with the Egyptian Sinai, in an “exceptional” way to transfer wounded Palestinians to hospitals.
This increase also coincided with the first session in the region of the Assistant Secretary for Palestinian and Israeli Affairs of the US State Department, Hady Amr, which arrived on Friday sent by the White House to try to mediate the situation.
This Saturday, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, has stated that the European Union (EU) must adopt a clear position and pressure Israel and Palestine to resume dialogue and put an end to their escalation of war.
“The European Union with its 27 member states must adopt a clear and united position, and work to put pressure on the parties and bring them back to the negotiating table,” Di Maio wrote on social media.
The foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) will meet next Tuesday in an extraordinary way to address the recent violence between Israel and Palestine, as announced on Twitter by the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell.
“On Tuesday, also at the request of Italy, a Extraordinary Council on Foreign Affairs of the European Union on the situation in the Middle East. I spoke about it on Saturday by phone with the high representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, whom I thank for his speed. The violence and all attacks between Israel and Palestine must stop. Missile launches must be stopped, they are unacceptable, “he said.
The Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei have also issued a joint statement in which they condemn “in the strongest way” the Israeli attacks on Gaza and ask the UN to take measures to guarantee the safety of Palestinian civilians.
They have been joined by Iran, who on Sunday called on Islamic countries to recognize Israel’s aggressions against the Palestinian population as “genocide and crimes against humanity.”
In addition, this Saturday citizens of several European countries went to Demonstrate to the streets to show solidarity with the Palestinian people. In Madrid, the call took place at 12 o’clock in the morning at the Puerta del Sol, and both calls were organized in cities such as Paris, Berlin or London.
“Right of Israel to defend itself”
On the part of the United States, the efforts of its special envoy were also joined by that of the US president himself, Joe Biden, who contacted both by telephone Abbas (Mazen) as with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The first of the two calls was to Netanyahu, to whom he conveyed that the US is holding talks with regional allies about the current escalation of tension and reiterated its “strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”
The prime minister, for his part, informed Biden in detail “about the developments and actions that Israel has taken and the actions it intends to take” in relation to the exchange of fire with the militias in Gaza.
During the talk with Abás (Mazen), with whom he had not yet spoken since his arrival at the White House, Biden referred to US diplomatic efforts in relation to the current escalation of violence. and stressed the need for Hamas to halt the launch of missiles at Israel. More generally, he also reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians.
“Just and moral”
For his part, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has considered as “just and moral” attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on Gaza and has indicated its intention to continue to respond “vigorously” to Hamas rocket fire.
According to Israel, Hamas has fired more than 2,300 rockets at the country this week, something intolerable for Netanyahu, who has warned that the escalation of violence will continue “for a few more days.” “Israel has responded vigorously to these attacks and will continue to respond energetically “, Has expressed.
Referring to the altercations in different parts of Israel, the prime minister considers that “the Jewish state will not tolerate pogroms against our citizens.” “We will not allow our Jewish citizens to be lynched or that they live in fear of murderous Arab gangs, “he added, as well as warned that” whoever acts as a terrorist will be punished as a terrorist. “
On the other hand, Netanyahu has made reference to the destruction this Saturday of the offices of several international media in the Gaza Strip and has said that these buildings are being used by Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
Finally, for the Israeli prime minister, “Israel will be able to face these threats from the outside and these threats from the inside,” he concluded.
Launch of 2,900 missiles
After reducing the intensity and magnitude of the attacks on Friday, the Israeli army and the militias in Gaza again this Saturday to intensify the exchange of fire, which began last Monday night and has already stopped. a balance of at least 174 deceased. ANDbetween them 47 children and 29 women. On the other hand, the number of wounded in Gaza exceeds 1,200.
The launch of missiles from Gaza on Saturday sounded anti-aircraft alarms in Tel Aviv after two days without shooting towards the city, that has become one of the main targets of the militias during the current escalation of violence.
According to the Israeli Army, the number of shells launched since the start of hostilities exceeded 2,900, of which about 450 fell within the aforementioned enclave and about 1,150 were intercepted by the Israeli anti-aircraft defense system Iron Dome.
Israel on Saturday bombed multiple missile launch sites, an intelligence office of the Islamist movement Hamas and the residences of senior officials of the group.
The day began with the news that a bombing killed eight children and two women in a family home, to which the Israeli Army assured that the attack was directed at senior Hamas officials “in an apartment used as terrorist infrastructure” and blamed the group for “using civilians as human shields.”
What’s more, bombed a 14-story tower in which the offices of important international media were located, including the American news agency Associated Press and the television channel Al Jazeera.
According to a military spokesman, the tower also housed Hamas intelligence assets belonging to a research and development unit.