Rival mideast ambassadors state their case at U.N. Gaza debate
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 01:07
The Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors to the United Nations exchange comments on their deadlocked positions over Gaza Strip violence. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
The Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors to the United Nations brought different messages to the podium on Thursday (July 31) following a humanitarian briefing at the United Nations on the conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor sought to clear his country by attacking the Islamist militant group Hamas, which has been responsible for firing rockets into Israel this month following a revenge killing of a Palestinian teen. That killing came after three Jewish seminary students kidnapped while hitch-hiking in the occupied West Bank were found murdered.
"It's time to abandon this romantic notion of Hamas as freedom fighters. It should be clear by now to everyone in the international community, to everyone in the international community, that this is a radical terror organization with a global islamist agenda," Prosor told reporters after the briefing.
"In Gaza, nothing is off limits for Hamas. Not hospitals where it sets up command centers and certainly not U.N. schools where they store rockets that have been found there in recent days," Prosor added, accusing Hamas of putting its people in harm's way by waging combat in their midst.
The conflict has killed more than 1,370 Palestinians, most of them civilians, according to Gaza officials while Israel says 56 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour compared the violence to a genocide.
"And also, I totally agree with the sentiment of our people in the Gaza Strip that feel that the international community is failing them," Mansour said. "They are not coming to put their weight on the line and say enough is enough. And this genocide cannot be tolerated and should be stopped immediately."
Attempts to reach an extended ceasefire have failed as the U.N. struggles to withstand a flood of almost a quarter of a million refugees into shelters that have repeatedly come under Israeli fire.
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