World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian foreign minister has urged the UN Security Council to immediately provide international protection for his people amid an escalating conflict with Israel.
Riyad al-Maliki on Thursday said that the council had a "legal and moral responsibility" to provide Palestinians with protection "from the occupation's aggression and war crimes".
He said that Israel's acts constituted a violation of international humanitarian law embodied in the Fourth Geneva Convention, which required states to ensure the safety of civilians under occupation and forbid collective punishment of a civilian population. Israel ratified the convention in 1951.
Maliki also criticized the Security Council for its inability to address the situation, saying the 15-member body had "proven unable and unwilling to bear its obligations”.
"Instead, the council has remained paralyzed, to the grave detriment of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples and region as a whole, with the conflict compounded with each passing day and peace and security remaining painfully elusive," he said.
More than 50 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of October, according to Palestinian Health Ministry.
The latest violence comes amid a three-week long wave of alleged Palestinian knife and vehicular attacks, which have reportedly left 10 Israelis dead and 120 injured. Over the same period, at least 1,900 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli gunfire, the ministry said.
The unrest flared last month when Israeli authorities launched a crackdown on Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, which is Islam’s third-holiest site, while allowing groups of extremist Jewish settlers to enter the site in large numbers.
Also speaking at the Security Council meeting, Israel's new UN envoy Danny Danon accused Palestinians of carrying out "unprovoked attacks against Israelis for no reason other than the fact that they are Jews living in their historic homeland".
"The UN must end its usual practice of calling on both sides to show restraint, and state clearly, there is one side that is instigating a wave of terror. Stop making excuses for the Palestinians, and start holding them accountable," Danon said.
He added that his country would not accept the presence of any international force on Temple Mount, which is the Jewish term for Al-Aqsa.
UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman told the council that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "entered a dangerous phase".
He said that the current crisis would not have erupted "if the Palestinians did not still live under a stifling and humiliating occupation that has lasted almost half a century".
"They see, instead, the growth of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which undermines the very possibility of a two-state solution and poses growing security risks to the Palestinian population," he said.Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2015, 09:13