UN Security Council holds emergency meeting over Gaza fighting

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Palestinian ambassador asks when will ‘enough be enough’ as council members express concern about recent violence.

The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Gaza, with several members raising concerns amid a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian armed group, after three days of Israeli air raids on the territory.

Speaking via video at the start of the meeting, UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland warned: “The ceasefire is fragile. Any resumption of hostilities will only have devastating consequences for Palestinians and Israelis and make any political progress on key issues elusive.”

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia stressed the council was “deeply concerned by this turn of events, which could lead to the resumption of a fully-fledged military confrontation and a further worsening of the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza”.

At least 44 Palestinians — nearly half of them civilians, including 15 children — were killed after Israel began a series of bombardments of Islamic Jihad positions in Gaza on Friday. Hundreds of people in the territory were injured, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

The armed group fired thousands of rockets in response, but most were intercepted or blown up. Israeli emergency services said three people were injured by shrapnel and 31 others were slightly hurt.

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into force on Sunday night, but both sides have reserved the right to respond if the ceasefire is breached.

Agencies

 

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