The United Nations Security Council has held an emergency meeting over Israeli offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade for the past five years.
The 15-nation council held talks with the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors to the UN late on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Israeli military launched a series of new air and sea attacks, dubbed as Operation Pillar of Cloud, against the Palestinians of the coastal territory. The offensive left at least ten Palestinians dead, including senior Hamas commander Ahmed al-Ja’bari, the head of Ezzeddin Qassam Brigades.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the UN, said the Israeli offensive amounted to “illegal criminal actions.”
In a letter to Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri — the president of the Security Council this month — Mansour said that a “message must be sent to Israel to cease its military campaign against the Palestinian people under its occupation, including the cessation of extrajudicial killing.”
“We want the Security Council to act in accordance with its responsibilities to stop this aggression against our people,” Mansour stated.
On Monday, Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak said that Tel Aviv was mulling over various options to punish the Palestinians of the coastal territory and had not ruled out the possibility of launching a new war on Gaza.
Israeli airstrikes, shelling, and artillery fire have left at least 16 Palestinians dead since Saturday.