The United Nations Security Council is set to hold a closed-door emergency council session on Gaza late Wednesday afternoon in New York, in what will be its ninth meeting this year on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It did so after Israel eliminated three Palestinian Islamic Jihad commanders in a pre-dawn aerial strike on Tuesday, in which at least 10 Palestinian civilians were also killed, including four women and four children.
The United Arab Emirates said it had called for the meeting along with China and France in light of “concerning developments in Gaza.”
The UNSC meets monthly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has held four such gatherings this year, along with an additional four to deal with crises that have arisen in light of rising violence and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government.
How will the UNSC tackle Israel's Operation Shield and Arrow?
In a letter to the UNSC Palestinian Authority’s Ambassador Riyad Mansour wrote, “We condemn this murderous aggression against the Palestinian people and call for immediate action to hold responsible the criminal perpetrators, both government and military officials of Israel, the occupying power, who are planning and implementing this endless series of systematic human rights violations.”
“We condemn this murderous aggression against the Palestinian people and call for immediate action to hold responsible the criminal perpetrators, both government and military officials of Israel, the occupying power, who are planning and implementing this endless series of systematic human rights violations.”Riyad Mansour
The international community, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the security council have a “duty to act” to bring to an end impurity Israel “have become so accustomed to,” he wrote.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan wrote a letter to the UNSC explaining that the surgical strike called Shield and Arrow was in response to a barrage of over 100 rockets Palestinians in Gaza had launched at Southern Israel last week.
“Israel acted in a precise and limited manner against senior military officials in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) who were directly responsible for facilitating attacks and launching rockets and missiles against Israelis, in order to protect Israel's citizens and thwart the planned attacks,” Erdan wrote.
“In parallel, sites used to produce weapons and military compounds of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, as well as PIJ military compounds, were targeted,” he explained.
“These sites were munitions warehouses and provided logistical infrastructure for the terrorist organization,” he added.
“The PIJ Organization uses the citizens of the Gaza Strip as human shields - they hide their rockets among the civilian population, use private houses as situation rooms and fire from dense urban areas,” Erdan wrote.
“It is a designated terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, US, and Israel,” he explained.
Erdan called on the UNSC to “condemn the indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians launched from Gaza, and to support Israel in our legitimate right of self-defense.”