As the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group launched more than 400 rockets from Gaza toward Israel on Wednesday, nine ambassadors to the United Nations, mainly from Africa and southeast Asia, landed safely in Tel Aviv, experiencing life in a city under attack as they prepared for a week-long tour of Israel.
Back at U.N. headquarters in New York, the Jewish state came under attack as well, as the United Arab Emirates, France, China and Russia called for closed-door consultations of the Security Council to discuss the escalation in hostilities between Israel and PIJ.
On Tuesday, Israel eliminated three PIJ commanders in an airstrike which also claimed the lives of 10 Gazan civilians. The UAE, acting on behalf of the Arab League, condemned the Israeli operation and led the charge to convene the Security Council in an emergency session for the fourth time since the establishment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government less than five months ago.
Due to the session’s closed format, public statements were not offered, and the Israeli and Palestinian Authority envoys did not participate. The U.N.’s Middle East envoy, Tor Wennesland, briefed council members, and no action was apparently taken at the meeting’s end.
The Israeli mission to the United Nations offered no comment when contacted by JNS.
The office of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement on Wednesday, calling on Israel to “abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the proportional use of force and taking all feasible precautions to spare civilians and civilian objects in the conduct of military operations.”
Guterres also condemned “the indiscriminate launching of rockets from Gaza into Israel, which violates international humanitarian law and puts at risk both Palestinian and Israeli civilians,” though Guterres did not call out PIJ by name.
Before Wednesday’s Security Council session, P.A. envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour was joined by envoys from the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Algeria in giving a statement to the media.
“We condemn those who committed these crimes, particularly killing large numbers of children and women. And we believe that it is the duty of the Security Council to condemn these crimes, and to pronounce that those from the Israeli side who planned these crimes, who have committed these crimes, should face accountability and should pay for their crimes,” said Mansour, whose government will pay a stipend to the killers of Israeli citizens Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee, who were gunned down in a terror attack last month.
The Security Council is slated to hold its monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wed., May 24.
On Monday, the U.N. General Assembly will host a Nakba Day event for the first time, mourning the creation of the state of Israel and its defeat of five attacking Arab armies as a catastrophe.
The Israeli mission to the United Nations told JNS that no one from the mission intends to speak at the event and Israel is not planning any counter-events.
The United States and United Kingdom have already announced they won’t take part in Monday’s General Assembly session. A knowledgeable source told JNS that Israel is focused on lobbying other countries to reject attending the Nakba Day event.
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