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Source Courtesy :almanar.com.lb
Israel came under fire at emergency UN talks Thursday for flouting international law with its deadly military assault on the Gaza Strip, including strikes on hospital, media and UN buildings.
"Gaza is ablaze. It has been turned into a burning hell," said Nicaragua's Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, president of the 192-member UN General Assembly.
"The violations of international law inherent in the Gaza assault have been well documented: collective punishment; disproportionate military force; attacks on civilian targets, including homes, mosques, universities, schools."
The emergency session of the General Assembly, requested by the
118-member UN member states making up the nonaligned movement, went ahead after Israel tried but failed to block it on procedural grounds.
Since Israel unleashed “Operation Cast Lead” on December 27, over 1,100 Palestinians, including 355 children, have been killed and at least another 5,000 wounded, according to Gaza medics.
The session adjourned late Thursday and was to resume early Friday, with more speakers planning to take the floor to condemn the carnage in Gaza and demand an immediate ceasefire.
UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro told the assembly that UN chief Ban Ki-moon, currently in the Zionist entity during a Middle East tour, conveyed "his strong protest and outrage" and demanded an explanation after Israeli shells smashed into a UN compound in Gaza Thursday, setting fire to warehouses holding badly-needed aid. Other Israeli strikes set a hospital wing on fire and wounded two cameramen in a building housing international and Arab media outlets.
On behalf of the European Union, Czech ambassador Martin Palous said the 27-member pan-European bloc "strongly protests and expresses its outrage at the Israeli shelling of the UN compound in the Gaza Strip and demands that the facts are clarified."
D'Escoto deplored the fact that the Israeli offensive was continuing despite last week's ceasefire call issued by the 15-member Security Council. The call in council Resolution 1860 has so far been ignored by Israel and Hamas resistance movement has repeated that it would not accept it till all the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians completely stops.
At the request of several assembly members, D'Escoto circulated a non-binding and mild draft resolution that demands full respect for Resolution 1860 and calls on the Security Council to ensure "full and urgent compliance with the resolution."
Iran's UN envoy Mohammad Khazaee said Israeli actions in Gaza amounted to "genocide and crimes against humanity" and said the Zionist entity "is not qualified to be a member of this organization."
Malaysia's UN ambassador Hamidon Ali said the proposed assembly resolution "must also call for the establishment of a tribunal to investigate and to prosecute those responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity." And he called for "sanctions ... for non-compliance" with the call for a ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces, an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza and allowing humanitarian aid to reach victims of the aggression.
Palestinian UN observer Ryad Mansour meanwhile called for an independent investigation of Israel's "grave breaches and systematic violations of international law." "Since this crisis began, it is without a doubt that a multitude of war crimes have been perpetrated by the occupying power (Israel)," he said while also calling for "measures for protection of the defenseless Palestinian civilian population."
ISRAEL, US FOIL UN CONDEMNATION
Israel and the US succeeded in preventing a United Nations announcement condemning the Zionist entity for its strike on a UN compound in Gaza Thursday. The condemnation was proposed by Britain among other countries. The announcement was scheduled to be released to the press by current Security Council President, French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert. Instead, Ripert made a public speech calling on both sides to cease their fire, according to UN Resolution 1860.
EU ambassadors initiated the council meeting following the Israeli strike on an UNRWA compound in Gaza earlier Thursday. The meeting was intended to end with the issue of an announcement declaring Israel responsible for the situation in Gaza.
Israeli diplomats alerted US diplomats to the intention, and the latter transferred Israel's response to the Security Council while the meeting proceeded – which caused the council to disperse without a concrete resolution.