Israel calls on UN to condemn attacks from Gaza

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –


Israel called Thursday on the United Nations to condemn what it called "indiscriminate attacks" from Gaza on the Jewish state.

The appeal to the Security Council and Secretary General Antonio Guterres came in a letter published a day after the Palestinians called for an end to Israeli attacks on them, as the two sides engage in an escalating conflict.

"I call upon the international community to unequivocally condemn the indiscriminate attacks by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilians and population centers and to support Israel's fundamental right to self-defense," Israel's ambassador to the UN and to the United States, Gilad Erdan, said in the letter.

"The State of Israel is not interested in an escalation. However, Israel has the right and duty to defend its people and sovereignty and will continue to do so vigorously," Erdan added.

On Wednesday the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said in a letter to the UN that it and the international community must "act with immediacy to demand that Israel cease its attacks against the Palestinian civilian population."

He also urged Israel to halt "plans to forcibly displace and ethnically cleanse Palestinians" from Jerusalem. This dispute has been one of the sparks of the new spasm of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

An urgent meeting of the Security Council, the third since Monday, was scheduled to start at 10:00 am (1400 GMT), diplomats say.

The first two were held behind closed doors but this one will be an open session and representatives of Israel and the Palestinians will take part. It will be held virtually.

After the first two meetings the US, Israel's most important supporter, prevented the council from issuing a statement calling for an end to the clashes, arguing that this would be "counter-productive."