UNITED NATIONS Nov 14 The Palestinian Authority
on Wednesday urged the U.N. Security Council to take a stand on
Israel's latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, which it said in a
letter to the council amounted to "illegal criminal actions."
"This escalation, which continues at this moment, demands
the attention of the international community, including the
Security Council, with the aim of averting the further
deterioration and destabilization of the situation on the ground
and the fueling by Israel of yet another deadly cycle of
violence and bloodshed," said Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour.
In a letter to Indian U.N. Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri,
president of the 15-nation council this month, Mansour added
that "a direct message must be sent to Israel to cease its
military campaign against the Palestinian people under its
occupation, including the cessation of extrajudicial killing."
Israel launched a major offensive against Palestinian
militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander
of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the
enclave that the Islamist group vowed would "open the gates of
The militant group Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority,
Egypt, whose new Islamist government is still honoring the
1979 peace agreement with Israel, condemned the raids on Gaza as
a threat to regional security and withdrew its ambassador from
Israel. It also called for an emergency meeting of the United
Nations Security Council.
A spokesman for the Indian U.N. mission did not respond
immediately to a query about whether the council planned to meet
soon about Gaza.
The Security Council has difficulty reaching consensus on
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, council diplomats say, since
the United States works hard to prevent it from taking action
that would annoy its close ally Israel.