Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday officially requested international protection for the Palestinians and their territories.
Abbas made the request in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The letter was handed to UN envoy Robert Serry during a meeting in Abbas’s office in Ramallah.
“We have decided to officially ask the UN to provide protection to the Palestinian people and the land of Palestine,” Abbas told reporters.
“The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip is continuing, and last night there were many people killed and wounded. There was also much destruction [in the Gaza Strip].”
Abbas said the decision to seek international protection was taken by PLO and Fatah leaders and members who have been holding intensive meetings in Ramallah over the past few days to discuss the IDF operation against Hamas.
“The situation does not allow us to wait any more,” Abbas said. “Israel has exaggerated in everything. We must stop Israel’s aggression on the Palestinians, which began in Hebron, moved to Jerusalem and the West Bank and is finally taking place in the Gaza Strip. The situation has become intolerable and that’s why we sent this letter.”
Abbas said the Palestinian leaders have taken other decisions regarding the Israeli military operation, but did not elaborate. However, he added that these decisions would be announced shortly.
On Sunday, the PLO Executive Committee, which is headed by Abbas, accused Israel of committing “genocide” against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip.
The committee said it had authorized Abbas to ask the UN to “place the lands of the ‘State of Palestine’ under international protection.”
Abbas’s move came as Arab foreign ministers were set to hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Monday to discuss the latest flare-up in violence.
The meeting is being held at the request of Abbas.