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UNSC fails to take action against Israel over fresh Gaza aggression

The file photo shows a view of the United Nations Security Council in session in New York.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has met behind closed doors over the situation in the Gaza Strip, but failed to reach an agreement on how to deal with a fresh wave of deadly Israeli attacks against the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Requested by Kuwait and Bolivia, the 50-minute emergency session was held on Tuesday after Gaza witnessed the worst flare-up of violence since the 2014 war.

The meeting however ended inconclusively, with no statement from the council on the violence, which broke out when the Israeli military launched a commando raid against Gaza on the weekend and killed seven members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The sting operation was followed by a wave of deadly air raids against residential areas throughout the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s acts of aggression, however, drew an angry reaction from Hamas -- which governs Gaza -- and other Palestinian resistance factions, which fired an intense barrage of rockets into the southern parts of the occupied territories.

At least seven Palestinians were killed in Israeli air raids and over 30 others wounded. Two Israelis also died in Ashkelon, while around 20 others sustained injuries in counterattacks from Gaza.

Relatives mourn the death a Palestinian killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip a day earlier, in Rafah, on November 13, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

On Tuesday, however, the Gaza-based resistance groups agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire with Israel.

Speaking after the Security Council meeting, Kuwaiti Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi told reporters that “we were not able to find a solution to the situation in Gaza” because of divisions at the 15-member council.

The majority of UNSC member states said the body “should do something,” with some suggesting a visit to the region, but no decision was taken.

UNSC stands ‘paralyzed’

In turn, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour criticized the council for failing to “shoulder its responsibility” to take action on the Gaza crisis, saying the world body’s most powerful organ was in fact “paralyzed.”

“There is one country that is not allowing discussion at the council,” said Mansour, referring to the US, Israel’s staunch ally.

The senior Palestinian diplomat further condemned “in the strongest possible terms this aggression by Israel.” 

“We want the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility with regard to this situation threatening international peace and security, and it is unfortunately, the Security Council is paralyzed. It did not shoulder its responsibility,” the official added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mansour expressed hope that the Gaza ceasefire – which took effect on Tuesday -- would hold.

The Palestinian envoy also complained that the “immoral, illegal, and ... inhumane” Israeli siege on Gaza has led to a “miserable situation” in the coastal sliver.

 Palestinians gather in front of damaged buildings in Gaza City early on November 13, 2018, following Israeli air strikes targeting the area overnight. (Photo by AFP)

“That blockade needs to be lifted so that the people in the Gaza Strip can begin the process of returning to a normal situation, as much as “normal” could be under occupation,” he added.

Gaza has been under a crippling siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008. It has also witnessed a fresh wave of tensions since March 30, which marked the start of “The Great March of Return” protests.

The Tel Aviv regime carries out regular attacks on the coastal enclave under the pretext of hitting positions belonging to Hamas.

Separately on Tuesday, the Hamas spokesman stressed that the resistance movement had “taught Israel a serious lesson.”

“This is a message to Israel,” Sami Abu Zuhri said in a speech in Algeria. “The attitude of the resistance groups will be determined according to the behavior of Israel.”

Palestinians hail decisive response to Israel

Meanwhile, people took to the streets in different cities across Gaza, including Khan Yunis, Gaza City, Jabalia and Rafah to celebrate the victory of the resistance over Israel.

The demonstrators carried Palestinian and Hamas flags.

Hamas official Ismail Radwan addressed the protesters in Gaza City in front of the rubble of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV headquarters – which was razed to the ground in an Israeli raid on Monday.

“We come out today, celebrating the victory of the resistance, the victory of the Qassam (the Hamas military wing) and the victory of the Palestinian resistance here on the mighty land of Gaza,” he said.

“You will not commit a crime without being held accountable for it,” he noted. “The resistance’s missiles were launched from here and hit the Zionist depth. The message was clear: bombardment for bombardment, killing for killing, blood for blood.”

Similar rallies were held in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and al-Khalil to protest the Israeli aggression in Gaza.

Palestinian protesters hold anti-Israeli signs and wave national flags in the West Bank city of Ramallah on November 13, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

‘Israel won’t respect truce’

In an interview with Press TV, Paul Larudee, with the Free Palestine Movement, cast doubt on Israel’s commitment to the new Egypt-brokered ceasefire.

He said the regime in Tel Aviv regime is after clearing the Palestinian land of its native people and replacing them with its own citizens.

They see such a truce as an obstacle to their “ethnic cleansing” campaign against the Palestinian people.

“They are not going to respect it,” he said. “They have never respected anything that the United Nations has ever asked of them, at least for long.”

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