Gaza blitz fails to move UNSC Guterres calls for stoppage of fighting

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China accuses US of obstructionism


United Nations

Amid Israel’s relentless air blitz on Gaza Strip, the Palestinian leader appealed for support at a UN Security Council session on Sunday but little action was in sight, with China accusing the United States of obstructionism.

After a delay pushed by the United States, Israel’s critical ally, the Security Council held its first public meeting on nearly a week of violence that has claimed 200 lives – mostly Palestinians.

Opening the virtual session, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the violence “utterly appalling” and urged both Israel to stop its massive air campaign on Gaza.

“Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately,” Guterres said. “It has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian

crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole,” he said.

Pointing to the heavy toll on civilians, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki accused Israel of “war crimes” and “apartheid”. “Act now to end the aggression and the assault on our people, our homes, our land. Act now so freedom can prevail,
not apartheid,” he said.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, began lobbing rockets after Israeli troops entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem following moves to expel Palestinians from their homes in the holy city.

Maliki — part of the Palestinian Authority that runs the West Bank, not rival Hamas — said that Israel could not expect to “bear no consequences” for its actions as an “occupying colonial power”.

“Israel always says, put yourselves in our shoes. But Israel is not wearing shoes. It is wearing military boots.” Speaking afterward, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, alleged that the tensions were “completely premeditated” by
Hamas as part of an internal power play after the Palestinian Authority delayed long-awaited elections.

Palestinians, including civilians, have borne the overwhelming brunt of Israel’s relentless air strikes, with authorities in Gaza reporting that at least 55
children are among the 190 people who have died.—Agencies