UN Security Council to meet over Gaza fighting

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The UN Security Council was to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the situation in Gaza, where a truce is holding between Islamic Jihad militants and Israel after three days of deadly conflict.

China, which holds the presidency of the Security Council in August, announced the emergency meeting on Saturday, with Ambassador Zhang Jun expressing his concern over Gaza’s worst fighting since an 11-day war last year.

Ahead of the meeting, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called Monday for the council to place “full accountability” on Islamic Jihad, accusing the Iran-backed group of using Gazans as “human shields.

“There must be one outcome and one outcome only, to condemn the (Islamic Jihad) for its double war crimes while placing the full accountability … for the murder of innocent Palestinians on the shoulder of the radical terror group,” he said at a press briefing.

“They fire rockets at Israeli civilians while using Gazans as human shields. This is a double war crime,” he said. Israel had since Friday launched a heavy aerial and artillery bombardment of Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza, leading the militants to fire over a thousand rockets in retaliation, according to the Israeli army.

An Egypt-brokered cease-fire reached late Sunday ended the intense fighting that killed 44 people, including 15 children, and wounded 360 in the enclave according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Both sides have reserved the right to respond if the cease-fire is violated.

The Security Council’s consultations will take place on Monday afternoon in New York. No statement is expected after the meeting, several diplomatic sources have said.—AFP

 

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