At US behest UN Security Council to hold urgent meeting on Gaza barrages
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At US behest UN Security Council to hold urgent meeting on Gaza barrages

Nations to convene Wednesday; Haley says council should be ‘outraged’ over rocket, mortar fire at Israeli civilians and ‘Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable’

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The UN Security Council will meet Wednesday at the request of the United States to discuss Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel, diplomats said.

The United States circulated a draft statement Tuesday calling on the council to condemn “in the strongest terms the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinian militants in Gaza” toward Israel, according to a copy of the text seen by AFP.

The US mission asked for the meeting to discuss the attacks from the Gaza Strip that were claimed by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups, prompting Israel to respond with air strikes on Gaza terror targets.

“The recent attacks out of Gaza are the largest we have seen since 2014,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement.

“Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten. The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they’re allowing to happen in Gaza.”

Israel envoy to the United Nations Danny Danon addresses the General Assembly prior to a vote on Jerusalem, on December 21, 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York.
(AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ)

Earlier Israel’s envoy to the UN Danny Danon called on Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council to “unequivocally condemn Hamas and hold it responsible for the last day’s terror incidents.”

He said Israel had warned “for weeks” that Hamas was directing the ongoing violent protests along the border. Tuesday’s barrages “leave no doubt as to the true intentions of those who incited, encouraged and even paid for those demonstrations,” he stated.

The IDF launches a missile from the Iron Dome air defense system to intercept an incoming rocket from Gaza from a position in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on May 29 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA)

Envoys for the European Union, the United Nations, the US administration, and other nations vocally condemned the attacks earlier in the day, many of them singling out the attack on the kindergarten.

Three soldiers and a civilian were injured by shrapnel during the salvos of rocket and mortar fire, which lasted into the night.

The cable further drew a connection between Tuesday’s mortar attack and Hamas’s recent so-called “March of Return” riots at the Israel-Gaza border, during which Israeli troops killed more than 100 Palestinians, most of them members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

The site where a mortar shell from Gaza hit a kindergarten in southern Israel on May 29, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
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