UNSC to hold open meeting on Israel-Palestine conflict

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With regard to the Security Council, , UN chief’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the more unified the council is, the stronger its voice and the stronger its impact, reports Asian Lite News

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for a unified Security Council over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and regretted the lack of multilateralism.

Asked what the secretary-general expects from Sunday’s emergency meeting of the Security Council on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian escalation, Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “What we would like to see is … a strong, unified voice for de-escalation, for a cessation of hostilities and a push to get the parties back on track to find a political solution to this conflict that has been going on and on and on.”

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan/IANS)

Asked for the secretary-general’s comment on the fact that one single Security Council member blocked the proposal for a Friday meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, just days after all council members pledged support for multilateralism, Dujarric said Guterres is concerned about the state of multilateralism “as we’ve seen it during the pandemic and as we’ve seen it in other aspects.”

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“We would like to see member states put to action the ideals that we all have to live up to within this organization,” he added.

With regard to the Security Council, he said the more unified the council is, the stronger its voice and the stronger its impact.

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Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, on May 14, 2021. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

The Security Council on May 7 held a high-level debate on the need to uphold multilateralism and all council members came out in support of it. Yet days later, the United States, an ally of Israel, blocked the proposal for a Friday Security Council meeting, according to diplomats. The Security Council later agreed on such a meeting on Sunday.

No sign of ceasefire

Tensions between Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement, the worst since 2014, have continued unabated in the Gaza Strip with no sign of any ceasefire between the two sides to end the violence.

Rockets are fired by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas from Gaza City towards Israel, amid the escalating flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Photo: Mohammed Talatene/dpa/IANS

Overnight and at predawn on Friday, the tit-for-tat violent military confrontations between the two sides were intensified, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hamas militants fired more barrages of rockets into Israel, and Israeli fighter jets kept striking on the enclave.

The Hamas-run Ministry of Health said that 122 Palestinians have been killed, including 31 children and 20 women, and 900 others injured since Monday in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli security forces stand guard at the site of an attack which took place outside the settlement of Ariel. (Xinhua/Nidal Eshtayeh/IANS)

Witnesses and Palestinian security sources told Xinhua that Israeli army artillery on Friday struck the eastern area of Gaza city with tanks, killing at least two.

Tanks hit the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahia, killing a mother and her four children, according to medical sources.

An Israeli army spokesman said in a statement that the forces have intensively attacked posts that belong to Hamas, adding that 160 war jets, artillery, and tanks participated in the military operation.

Palestinian Territories, Gaza City: Fire and smoke rise from the collapsing Al-Shorouk Tower building after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike, amid the escalating flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence. (Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa)

The statement said 150 targets were hit overnight and on Friday morning, adding that many of the targets were underground.

It said the Israeli army will continue its strikes on the militants who fire rockets at Israel.

As the Israeli bombardments intensified, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants announced that their militants fired more barrages of rockets into Israel.

An Israeli man injured after a rocket from the Gaza strip landed is evacuated in central Israeli city of Holon, on May 11, 2021. (Gideon Markowicz/JINI via Xinhua/IANS)

Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, claimed responsibility for launching 100 rockets at the Israeli city of Ashkelon, in response to Israel’s “targeting of civilians” in the enclave.

Also Read – Gaza violence escalates as Israel intensifies crackdown

Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, also said that its militants carried out intensive rocket strikes at Israeli cities in southern and central Israel.

The Israeli army said Gaza militant groups have fired more than 1,750 rockets at Israel, most of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.

Fire billows from a building hit by an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip, amid the escalating flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence(Photo: Mahmoud Khattab/Quds Net News via ZUMA Wire/dpa/IANS)

The rockets fired from Gaza killed at least nine Israelis and wounded 200 others.

Meanwhile, Palestinian sources said the contacts to reach calm between the two sides had so far failed, adding that Egypt, Qatar and the UN lead the mediation between the two sides for reaching a truce. (with inputs from (ANI/Xinhua)

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