Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor criticized the international community for what he said were speedy condemnations of Israeli actions in Gaza and lagging criticisms of Hamas.
"Members of the international community have been quick to condemn Israel, but slow to condemn Hamas for its war crimes," he said at a press briefing at the United Nations in New York on Thursday.
Prosor stressed that the IDF has taken measures to try to minimize civilian casualties during its operation in Gaza, while Hamas has used Palestinian civilians as human shields and utilized religious and civilian infrastructure to store and fire rockets.
Meanwhile, UNRWA head Pierre Krahenbuhl called on the sides in the fighting in Gaza to respect the "sanctity of UN premises," in a message that he delivered to the UN Security Council on Thursday.
Krahenbuhl said eight of his colleagues had lost their lives in Gaza since the conflict began twenty-four days ago.
Krahenbuhl said that Palestinians in Gaza have told him in recent days, "If we are not safe in a UNRWA school, we are not safe anywhere."
Krahenbuhl strongly condemned armed groups for putting weapons in UNRWA facilities, but said that this did not justify Israeli attacks on the schools. The UN Security Council convened on Thursday to discuss Israel's military offensive in Gaza which has entered its 24th day.
The council made a statement earlier this week urging Israel and Hamas to implement an unconditional temporary humanitarian truce and engage in efforts to achieve a durable cease-fire.
The United Nations' senior human rights official Navi Pillay said on Thursday she believed Israel was deliberately defying international law in its military offensive in Gaza and that world powers should hold it accountable for possible war crimes.