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Palestine UN envoy calls on global community to 'right a historic wrong'

Palestine's UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour speaks to members of the Security Council during an emergency session on Israel-Gaza conflict at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on May 30, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Palestine’s permanent envoy to the United Nations Security Council has called on the global community to "right a historic wrong."

Riyad Mansour made the remarks on Wednesday while addressing an emergency session of the Security Council called by the US over the recent flare-up of conflict in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli tank fire and airstrikes hit Gaza on Tuesday. The Tel Aviv regime said its assault came in response to a barrage of rocket and mortar rounds fired at the occupied territories.

The military wings of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed “responsibility for the striking of military positions and Zionist settlements,” saying their strikes were in response to Israeli attacks targeting their positions in recent days.

'Gaza on the brink of war'

UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov warned the council that the flare-up of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis in the Gaza Strip may result in war.

"This latest round of attacks is a warning to all of how close to the brink of war we are every day," he said.

"No one in Gaza can afford another war," he added.

France warned the council that the failure to agree on a response to the Gaza crisis was damaging to the United Nations.

"This increasingly heavy silence, which is becoming deafening, is not acceptable," said French Ambassador Francois Delattre.

"It is not acceptable for the Palestinian and Israeli populations who are affected by this conflict. It is not acceptable for the world that is watching us," he added.

The United States called on the UN body to condemn Palestinian rocket attacks but the move was blocked by Kuwait, which argued that it had presented its own draft resolution that addressed the situation.

Kuwait called for the council to vote on its resolution by the end of the week and called for the consideration of measures "for the protection of Palestinian civilians."

Tensions have been running high along the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Damage at a site targeted by an Israeli air strike a day before in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza strip on May 30, 2018.(Photo by AFP)

At least 65 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others wounded as the Israeli forces used snipers, airstrikes, tank fire and tear gas to target the Gaza demonstrators on May 14.

Israel conducts regular air raids on Palestinians in Gaza under the pretext of hitting Hamas targets. The Gaza Strip has also been under an inhumane Israeli siege since 2007.  

Tel Aviv has waged three wars on the coastal enclave since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.

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