PALESTINIAN Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour called for an immediate permanent ceasefire when he addressed a special session of the United Nations in New York on the situation in Gaza yesterday.
He called on the UN to reaffirm its ‘permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine’, and for the end to the ‘grave and historic injustice Palestinians have borne for over 75 years, since the start of the Nakba.’
He said: ‘Not a single Palestinian generation has been saved from the scourge of war. Every single one has witnessed and endured horrors in its flesh. An entire nation over decades has faced dispossession, displacement, denial of rights, destruction and death.
‘Maybe, since the 1948 generation this generation is the one that has suffered most painfully and dramatically. This is the deadliest period ever endured by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and they have witnessed many previous assaults.
‘This is the largest forced displacement of Palestinians since the Nakba. This destruction is apocalyptic and the humanitarian crisis catastrophic.
‘There are no laws, no morals, no principles in this war that can justify this abhorrent, inhumane reality. It is one that shakes conscience and demands suitable action for justice.
‘Mr President, the massacres against our people in Gaza have mobilised peoples and nations all around the world, speaking out against injustice and calling for justice, calling for a ceasefire now in Gaza.
‘I repeat, calling for a ceasefire now in Gaza. Calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. Calling for a free Palestine.’
Following Mansour, the Qatari Ambassador to the UN General Assembly, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, said: ‘This meeting is held as we are witnessing the worst humanitarian crisis for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, due to Israeli military aggression.”
‘Qatar reiterates its condemnation of the gross international crimes committed by the Israeli occupation.
‘We reiterate our call to establish an international committee to investigate the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against civilians in the Gaza Strip.
‘We are holding this meeting following four days of a humanitarian truce thanks to the joint mediation efforts of the state of Qatar, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United States of America.
‘We hope that this humanitarian truce will lead to a sustained and durable ceasefire that will put a stop to the war machine and the bloodshed.’
Prior to yesterday’s Security Council meeting on Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had phoned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres directly and told him: ‘Israel continues to shamelessly trample on international law, laws of war, and international humanitarian law by looking in the eyes of the international community.’
Meanwhile, Hamas’s Qassam Brigades announced yesterday afternoon that its fighters had ‘dealt with’ an Israeli violation earlier in the northern Gaza Strip, without elaborating.
The Qassam Brigades said it is committed to the humanitarian truce brokered by Qatar and Egypt ‘as long as the enemy has committed to it, and we call on the mediators to pressure the occupation to adhere to all the terms of the truce on the ground and in the air.’
- More people could die from disease than from bombings in the Gaza Strip if the health and sanitation systems are not repaired, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned yesterday.
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