THE US veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding a humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip is unjustifiable, says Zhang Jun, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, amid rising civilian casualties in the blockaded coastal sliver.
‘The US veto of the resolution cannot be justified,’ Zhang Jun said on Wednesday, adding that the war must stop in order ‘to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.’
China was shocked and disappointed at the Security Council’s failure to adopt a Brazilian-led resolution that would have called for humanitarian pauses in Gaza, the envoy said, adding that China strongly condemns attacks on civilians and civilian facilities amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
‘Certain countries talked about the importance for the council to take the right actions. However, the way they voted only makes us question their willingness to let the council take any actions and their sincerity to find a solution to the problem,’ said Zhang.
‘In the final analysis, the council cannot stand still. The current situation in Gaza is escalating. More and more civilians are paying the price.
‘The council should heed the just call of the Arab countries and the Palestinian people, and fulfil its obligations and play its due role in promoting a ceasefire, protecting civilians, and avoiding a greater humanitarian disaster,’ he said.
Zhang stated that China believes the Brazilian draft still had room for improvement, adding that it generally reflected the common appeal of the international community.
Under the current circumstances, the resolution might be the only text on which the council could reach consensus, added the Chinese envoy.
Earlier, he had announced that China supports all efforts to de-escalate the conflict. ‘Without a ceasefire, any humanitarian aid would be a drop in the bucket’ and possibly trigger a catastrophe that would encompass the region, he said yesterday.
The US on Wednesday vetoed the resolution that had been drafted by Brazil and had sought to broker aid access to Gaza amid the incessant Israeli airstrikes and shelling against people in the tiny strip of land.
Representatives of 12 countries in the 15-member UNSC voted in favour of the resolution while Britain and Russia abstained.
The UNSC resolution had called for the cancellation of an order for civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate to south of the coastal sliver in anticipation of a major ground offensive by Israel.
Israel has been raining bombs on the coastal sliver for the past 12 days since Gaza-based resistance movements of Hamas launched Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the regime in response to its campaign of aggression, violation, and bloodshed against Palestinians. Over 3,500 people have died and some 13,000 others been injured so far as a result.
‘THIS IS A MASSACRE OF CHILDREN’ says Hospital chief
THE head of a hospital in the Gaza Strip has issued an emotional appeal calling for an end to Israel’s bombardment following an air raid that doctors said killed several infants.
‘Look at these children. Who is killing these children?’ asked Yousef al-Akkad, director of European Gaza Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis, standing behind the bandaged and bloodied bodies of the toddlers.
‘Free world, where are you regarding these massacres committed against this bereaved and oppressed people?’ al-Akkad continued, in a video released by the besieged enclave’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
At least nine people were killed, including seven children, in an Israeli air attack that struck the al-Bakri family house south of Khan Younis, Palestinian news agency WAFA said. Many were trapped under the rubble, it added.
‘This is a massacre,’ al-Akkad said, his voice choking with emotion. ‘Let the world see, these are just children.’
Doctors and residents also confirmed that the children were killed in the attack and said the al-Bakri family was just one of many such cases on Wednesday.
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