The United Nations General Assembly resumed its 10th emergency special session on October 26 to discuss the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, amid continuing deadlock in the Security Council.
More than 100 representatives are expected to speak at the two-day emergency meeting of the 193-member body.
General Assembly President Dennis Francis, in his opening remarks, condemned all attacks targeting civilians. He urged member states not to further fan the flames of hate starting at this session, and called for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire and the opening of aid corridors to save lives.
“At this juncture, the most immediate step is clear. The violence must cease, and further bloodshed must be prevented,” he said.
Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, said what is happening in Gaza is not a war, but an indiscriminate attack on all the Palestinian people, and Palestinian people’s rights had been ignored for too long.
“Why some feel so much pain for Israelis, and so little pain for us the Palestinians? What is the problem? Do we have the wrong faith? The wrong skin color? The wrong nationality? The wrong origin?” he challenged.
Israel’s permanent representative Gilad Erdan stressed that his country’s actions are aimed at the elimination of Hamas and the security of the Israeli people.
“Our goal is to completely eradicate Hamas’ capabilities and we will use every means at our disposal to accomplish this,” he said.
Jordan and other countries have already tabled a draft resolution on the crisis, after Security Council’s repeated failure to reach any consensus in the past two weeks.
Speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan, said the text his country is putting forward seeks what the UN was established to achieve — peace and compliance with international law.
He called on UN member states to unite in their commitment to peace, justice and the right of every Palestinian child and every Israeli child to live free from war and fear.
The resumed emergency special session is scheduled to run into Friday when the Chinese speaker will also take the floor, and the Jordanian-backed draft resolution is expected to be voted on.
(Inputs from Reuters)