UN Security Council holds urgent meeting on Gaza

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 20, 2014 at 11:08 pm •  Published: July 20, 2014
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council emerged from an emergency session late Sunday on the worsening situation in Gaza expressing "serious concern" about the rising civilian death toll and demanding an immediate end to the fighting.

The council met at the request of Jordan, which proposed a more strongly worded draft resolution for consideration. The resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, expressed "grave concern" at the high number of civilians killed in Gaza, including children, and called for an immediate cease-fire, "including the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip."

The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting on Sunday killed at least 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhoods.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has called Israel's latest incursion "atrocious," and said it must do far more to protect civilians.

The draft resolution called for the protection of civilians, the lifting of the "Israeli restrictions imposed on the movement of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip" and immediate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

But Jordan's proposed resolution was not discussed, and the acting council president, Rwanda's U.N. Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana, emerged to read elements of a more limited press statement that called for the need to improve the humanitarian situation in the region and welcome Egypt's efforts to broker a cease-fire.

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