Saudi Arabia criticizes UN over Gaza

Published July 15th, 2014 - 04:00 GMT

Saudi Arabia has criticized the United Nations (UN) Security Council for not taking effective action to prevent the Israeli military aggression against Gaza. “The Security Council statement on Israel’s attack on the Gazans was not up to the expectations of its members and the stature of the international body,” said Abdullah al-Muallami, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN.

Al-Muallami, who is also head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) group at the UN, said the Security Council statement had not denounced the Israeli aggression that killed over 160 Palestinians in four days. 

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation had called for setting up a neutral committee to probe the Israeli aggression, especially the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. “The OIC had also called for providing international protection for the Palestinians,” al-Muallami said. He expressed hope that Israel would heed the international call for ending its military operation. “If this is not happening, we will again ask the Security Council to adopt more effective measures on the issue,” he said.

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour accused the council of dragging its feet and said Saturday’s statement had only been agreed after the Arab Group, the OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement threatened to push for a resolution on the issue.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to ask the UN to put the state of Palestine under “international protection” due to the worsening violence in Gaza, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Sunday.

Abbas would present a letter to this effect to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, it said in a statement. Abbas also wants a commission of inquiry into Israel’s relentless air bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Abbas is “undertaking several steps and measures to deal with the horrific situation in Gaza,” senior Palestine Liberation Organization member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement after a meeting of the PLO executive.

Abbas has asked Switzerland, the depository of the fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in wartime, to ask signatories to place sanctions on Israel which, as the occupying power, is responsible for the safety of civilians. Its recognition by the UN as a non-member state has allowed Palestine to sign several international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions.

When Arab League foreign ministers meet in Cairo on Monday to discuss the Gaza crisis Palestine would ask them to “adopt a draft resolution at the ministerial level” to be presented to the UN Security Council. The Palestinians would also seek an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council “to deal with the grave conditions in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its violations of international law and international humanitarian law.”

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