Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas planned to ask the United Nations to put the state of Palestine under “international protection” in light of the worsening violence in the Gaza Strip, the Palestine Liberation Organization said Sunday.

“President Abbas presented a letter to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to officially put the State of Palestine under the UN international protection system and to form a legal committee for immediate follow-up,” it said in a statement.

Abbas also plans to ask for a commission of inquiry into Israel’s air bombardment of the Gaza Strip in an attempt to halt rocket fire into the Jewish state.

“Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is undertaking several steps and measures to deal with the horrific situation in Gaza,” senior Palestine Liberation Organization member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement after a meeting of the PLO executive.

Abbas has asked Switzerland, the depository of the fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in wartime, to summon the contracting parties and ask them to place sanctions on Israel as the occupying power responsible under the convention for the safety of civilians.

Its recognition by the UN as a nonmember state has allowed Palestine to sign several international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions.

Sunday marked the sixth day of Operation Protective Edge in which the Israeli military aimed to stem Palestinian rocket fire at Israeli cities.

According to Palestinian sources, 166 people have been killed as a result of Israeli airstrike and 1,120 have been injured. Palestinian terror groups have fired some 800 rockets at Israeli towns and cities since the operation began.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.