United Nations, July 28 IANS | 4 months ago

Representatives of Palestine and Israel to the UN Monday voiced disappointment at a Security Council statement endorsing a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

The presidential statement, which was adopted at an emergency council meeting in the early hours of the day, expressed "strong support for the call by international partners and the secretary-general of the UN for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire", Xinhua reported.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian permanent observer to the UN, was the first to speak of disappointment.

"We were expecting to see the Security Council deal with the issue of providing protection for our people and to deal with legitimate concerns of our people in the Gaza Strip," Mansour said.

"These elements were not reflected in this statement and we are disappointed in that sense," he said.

"We thought that a resolution should be in order and we will continue pressing the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility to put an end to this aggression."

The presidential statement, while being an official proclamation endorsed by all members of the council, does not carry the weight of international law as does a resolution.

For his part, Ambassador Ron Prosor of Israel was also disappointed that there was no mention of Hamas, which rules over Gaza.

"We heard a presidential statement right now from the Security Council that miraculously managed not to mention Hamas or rockets or Israel's right to defend its citizens," he said.

"Hamas sends suicide bombers to our schools, buses and cities," Prosor said. "They dig tunnels of terror that reach the doorsteps of our homes, schools and kindergartens."

According to the Gaza health ministry, the Israeli offensive that started July 8 in the Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of 1,030 Palestinians and injured more than 6,000.

Israel has lost 43 people, including civilians and soldiers.

(Posted on 28-07-2014)

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