Hamas, other Palestinian groups stress ‘unity’ at Moscow talks

UNITED NATIONS: The Palestinian ambassador to the UN on Thursday pleaded for the Security Council to condemn the episode in Gaza that saw Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians scrambling for food aid.

“The Security Council should say enough is enough,” Riyad Mansour told reporters ahead of a closed-door meeting by the body, which came at the request of Algeria.

The meeting was held to discuss the morning’s events in Gaza, where Israeli forces opened fire on the Palestinians in a chaotic melee that the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said killed 112 people and injured 760.

An Israeli source acknowledged troops had opened fire on the crowd, believing it “posed a threat.”

 

 

The Israeli military said a “stampede” occurred when thousands of desperate Gazans surrounded a convoy of 38 aid trucks, leading to dozens of deaths and injuries, including some who were run over by the lorries.

“This outrageous massacre is a testimony to the fact that as long as the Security Council is paralyzed and vetoes (are) casted, then it is costing the Palestinian people their lives,” Mansour said.

As one of five permanent members of the 15-member council, the United States — Israel’s biggest ally — has a veto that it has wielded three times so far to bar the body from calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian territory.

At Thursday’s meeting, Algeria put forth a draft declaration expressing “deep concern,” which stated that the situation was “due to opening fire by Israel forces.”

Of the Council’s 15 members, “14 members supported the text,” Mansour said after the meeting.

According to a diplomatic source, the United States opposed Israel being named, but discussions were ongoing.

“The parties are working on some language to see if we can get to a statement,” US deputy ambassador to the UN Robert Wood said.

“The problem is that we don’t have all the facts here,” he said, adding that he wanted the wording to reflect “the necessary due diligence with regards to culpability.”

Mansour said he met earlier in the day with US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“I implored her that the Security Council has to produce a product of condemning this killing and to go after those responsible for this massacre,” he said.

If the Security Council has “a spine and determination to put an end to these massacres from happening all over again, what we need is a ceasefire,” Mansour said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the situation “would require an effective independent investigation,” into how the deaths occurred and who was responsible, after condemning the episode earlier in the day through his spokesman.

Thursday’s incident added to a Palestinian death toll which the Gaza health ministry said had topped 30,000, mainly women and children.

The war began on October 7 with an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Militants also took about 250 hostages, 130 of whom remain in Gaza, including 31 Israel says are presumed dead.

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