UN: Arab states call for reconstruction in Gaza

Arab group calls for all UN member states to help urgent recovery needs of Palestinian people.

UN: Arab states call for reconstruction in Gaza

World Bulletin / News Desk

The UN General Assembly has convened a plenary meeting in New York under pressure from the Arab group, which has called for a UN resolution on assisting the recovery of Gaza following Israel's near-month-long offensive.

The session came at the United Nations headquarters on Wednesday with Arab diplomats, led by Jordan, calling for the introduction of a binding Security Council resolution on Gaza.

In the draft obtained by the Anadolu Agency, the Arab group called for all UN member states to help the “urgent reconstruction and economic recovery needs of the Palestinian people in Gaza”.

The resolution called for the action to be taken “in coordination with the United Nations and the Palestinian national consensus government under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas”.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the UNGA meeting that he expressed his gratitude to the US, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey the League of Arab States and the European Union for their contributions to the current 72-hour ceasefire agreement.

“We have all been working day and night,” Ban said, adding that the ceasefire was reached at a “price that is almost too much to bear”.

He said the suffering of civilians in Gaza over the past four weeks had been a “terrible reminder” that only a negotiated political settlement could bring peace and security to Palestinians and Israelis.

Ki-moon said: “The massive death and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world.”

'Serious questions'

He said the lives of ordinary people had to move forward, but warned that the destruction of Gaza and the horror witnessed there raised “serious questions about respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality in international humanitarian law”.

The UN chief said the shelling of civilian targets and UN facilities had jeopardized "the lives and safety of many thousands of innocent civilians”.

“International humanitarian law clearly requires protection by all parties of civilians and civilian facilities, including UN staff and UN premises,” Ban said.

He said UN shelters should be “safe zones, not combat zones”.

“The UN flag must be respected and assure protection to those in need,” he added.

He pointed out that the Israelis had been informed of the coordinates of UN shelters 33 times, but they had still chosen to fire on them.

“Those who violate this sacred trust must be subject to accountability and justice,” Ban said.

The Secretary General repeated that attacks against UN premises, “along with other suspected breaches of international law”, must be investigated in full.

About 80 percent of more than 1,800 Palestinians who were killed were civilians and more than 400 children, according to the UN, while three Israeli civilians and 64 Israeli soldiers died in the conflict.

There has to be recognition that Gaza cannot survive being permanently closed off from the world, U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday.

"For the long term, there has to be recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off from the world, incapable of providing some opportunity for jobs and economic growth for the population who live there," said Obama. "We have to see the shift in opportunities for the people of Gaza."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2014, 11:16