Several Arab countries condemned the Beit Hanoun Israeli military
attack that against civilian houses that left twenty residents killed,
including eight children. The Palestinians demanded sanctions against
Israel while Washington held Hamas responsible for the cycle of
The incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed “deep concern” over the Israeli shelling to civilian houses in the Gaza Strip, and called on the Security Council and its current Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to weigh all possible measures to prevent any further escalation in the occupied territories.
Annan slammed the Israeli attack, and said that the UN rejects targeting civilians and civilian areas and believes that forming a National Unity Government in Palestine as the best means to end the internal Palestinian crisis.
Meanwhile, Washington held the Hamas-led government responsible for the violence in Gaza. US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said that “Israel has the right to defend itself, and its security”, and asked Israel to investigate the attack and carry the needed measures to avoid the repetition of such an incident.
Palestinian observer at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said during a Security Council urgent session that Israeli should not be left unpunished, and demanded the UN to impose an immediate ceasefire and to ensure an Israeli withdrawal from all of the areas it reoccupied.
Mansour also demanded the formation of an International Monitoring Force to monitor the implementation of cease fire.
Meanwhile, Qatar, the only Arab country that is a member of the Security Council, called for an urgent session and demanded passing an Arab-backed draft resolution demanding Israel “the occupying force” to immediately halt its aggression against the Palestinian civilians.
The resolution also called for an investigation into the Beit Hanoun attack and for a mutual cease-fire and the deployment of a UN observer force on the Israel-Gaza border.
Arab Foreign Ministers are expected to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the situation in the occupied territories in light of the Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Al Zahar demanded his Arab counterparts to concentrate in their coming meeting on lifting the siege imposed on the Palestinian people.