At the U.N., Palestine’s ambassador questioned the stance by some countries on Israel’s “right to defend,” saying it is a wrong understanding of history that only starts when Israelis are hurt, Peoples Dispatch reports.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced a “complete blockade” of Gaza on Monday and said that “there will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.”
In his announcement Gallant stated: “We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”
Gaza is one of the world’s most densely populated areas with a population of 2.3 million. The defense minister’s declarations come just one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally declared war on Hamas.
Meanwhile, outside the U.N. Security Council on Sunday, Palestine’s ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, questioned the stance taken by some countries and Western media regarding Israel’s “right to defend itself” saying it was a wrong understanding of history, which only starts when Israelis are hurt.
The Security Council did not decide any immediate course of action because of disagreements among the permanent members. While the U.S. demanded condemnation of Hamas’ actions, the Russian and Chinese ambassadors refused to issue any blanket condemnation naming Hamas and instead demanded an immediate ceasefire and the start of a peace process which has been stalled for decades.
Mansour reiterated that Palestinians have been enduring Israeli atrocities for decades, which is never acknowledged, while repeated Palestinian pleas to the U.N. are ignored.
“When Israel now tries to justify yet another assault (on Gaza) by the same faulty premise, no one should say or do anything to encourage it down this path,” Mansour said. “We know only too well that the messages about ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’ will be interpreted by Israel as a license to kill, to pursue the very path that led us here.”
Mansour also demanded accountability from international organizations who he said have repeatedly failed to hold Israel accountable for violating international laws. He said:
“You cannot say ‘nothing justifies killing Israelis’ and then provide justifications for killing Palestinians. We are not sub-humans. We will never accept rhetoric that denigrates our humanity and reneges our rights. A rhetoric that ignores the occupation of our land and oppression of our people.”
Mansour also questions countries like the U.S. which have expressed support to Israel, asking them how they could ignore Israel’s colonialist and racist agenda.
Fighting in Multiple Locations
Meanwhile, the U.S. is moving its U.S.S Gerald R Ford carrier strike group closer to the Mediterranean to provide support to the Israeli armed forces.
Palestinian resistance groups continue to advance with Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. The total number of Israelis killed since the operation was launched early on Saturday has crossed 800, with over 2,243 injured.
Israeli warplanes have continued to carry out indiscriminate bombings across the Gaza strip, targeting schools, mosques, civilian buildings. Israeli media reported on Monday that at least 1,000 tons of explosives have been dropped on Gaza, targeting 500 locations, mostly civilian residential areas.
According to the latest from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, a total of 560 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza since Saturday, including at least 91 children. Over 2,900 Palestinians, including 244 children, have also been injured. The Israeli bombings in Khan Younis and Rafah in the early morning of Monday have led to the death of entire families.
The United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) claimed that Israel targeted a school run by them in the Gaza strip which was used as a shelter for people displaced due to the Israeli airstrikes.
According to the U.N., over 123,000 Gazans have been displaced following Israeli attacks. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that around 73,000 Palestinians have taken shelter in school buildings inside Gaza. [U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that number had risen to 170,00 people and that two UNRWA schools had been hit.]
Several Israeli settlements are witnessing heavy fighting between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli ground forces. According to the Times of Israel, fighting was ongoing in at least seven or eight locations inside the 1948 borders early Monday morning. The newspaper later reported Israeli forces claim that they had taken control of all these towns and settlements from the Palestinian fighters.
Fighting was ongoing in Sderot, which was first attacked by the Palestinian resistance on Saturday, with several Israeli casualties reported.
According to Al-Jazeera, Israel has amassed over 100,000 reserve troops in preparation for a ground offensive on Gaza.
Palestinian resistance forces claimed on Monday that they have captured at least 130 Israeli troops and citizens who are being held hostage and may be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails.
More than 5,000 Palestinians are currently being held in different Israeli jails.
At the U.N. on Monday, Guterres said he recognized the “legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people,” but said that nothing can justify “acts of terror” against Israeli civilians. He said that while he recognized Israel’s “legitimate security concerns,” he must also remind Israel that military operations must be “conducted in strict accordance with international humanitarian law.”
This article is from Peoples Dispatch.
Views expressed in this article may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
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