UN Security Council calls for full adherence to Gaza ceasefire
A woman gestures after finding her home collapsed after the Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, May 21, 2021.
Mustafa Hassona | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The UN Security Council on Saturday called for “full adherence” to the ceasefire in Gaza and called for immediate humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians in its first statement on the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas.
The ceasefire, which took effect at 2 a.m. Friday local time, has held so far despite clashes in Jerusalem in front of the Al Aqsa mosque between the Israeli police and the Palestinians just hours after the official start of the truce.
The Al Aqsa Mosque is one of the holiest places in Islam and is located in a site known in Judaism as the Temple Mount, the religion’s holiest site. The clashes at the complex were one of the factors that started the war.
The Security Council called for a “full return to calm” and stressed “the achievement of comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders “.
The United States had previously blocked the most powerful UN body to call for an end to the conflict, arguing it would hamper the Biden administration’s diplomatic efforts to help reach a ceasefire.
Israel struck Gaza with dozens of airstrikes and Hamas militants fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israel. Palestinian medical officials said at least 248 people were killed in Gaza, including 66 children and 39 women. At least 12 people have been killed in Israel, all civilians except one soldier.
Security Council “mourned loss of civilian life resulting from violence” and expressed support for UN Secretary-General’s call to develop “integrated and strong support package for early reconstruction and recovery and sustainable “.
More than 77,000 Palestinians have been displaced and reconstruction costs in Gaza could run into tens of millions of dollars, Palestinian officials say, with infrastructure damage affecting water, sanitation and sanitation services. hygiene.
The UN said on Friday it had released $ 22.5 million in humanitarian aid in Gaza. A day earlier, President Joe Biden had promised that the United States would work with the UN to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians and help rebuild Gaza.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit Israel and the West Bank next week to strengthen the ceasefire, according to Reuters. Egyptian mediators also continue talks with Hamas and Israel to ensure long-term calm after the truce
– Reuters contributed to the reporting