The 15-nation Security Council held an emergency meeting late last night to adopt the presidential statement that expressed support for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance" in Gaza.
The statement, drafted by Jordan, "urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond" and "calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative". It said that a humanitarian cease-fire would allow for the delivery of urgently needed assistance in Gaza.
The statement calls for "full respect" for international humanitarian law and reiterates "the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection". The Council expressed "grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.
"It "emphasises that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN must be respected and protected". Earlier, welcoming the broadly observed 12-hour humanitarian pause in the Gaza conflict, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had renewed his appeal to all parties to declare a week-long ceasefire as a prelude to restarting political negotiations. The deadly 20-day conflict has killed 1,030 Palestinians and 46 Israelis.