The UAE called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza at the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) meeting on Monday, saying that the alarming number of children killed in Gaza is a “stain” on the world’s moral conscience.
Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s permanent representative to the UN, said that Palestinian lives deserve equal protection, adding that the number of Palestinian children killed in Gaza in the past three weeks has exceeded the total number of children killed in conflicts globally in the past four years.
“That should stain our moral conscience if nothing else does,” she said, referring to the 3,457 children killed in Gaza. “We need a ceasefire now.”
The UAE, as the Council’s Arab representative, called for an emergency UNSC meeting on Monday seeking a binding resolution demanding that Israel accepts a humanitarian pause to the fighting in Gaza.
The UAE is a non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2022-2023.
Nusseibeh said that the UN Council was ignoring the overwhelming majority of nations in support of a ceasefire, referring to the October 27 general assembly vote for a humanitarian pause in Gaza.
“The drums of war are beating,” she said, adding that the Council does not serve Israel’s security by enabling it to go on.
“What we and 121 countries are advocating for may be the harder road, but history warns us of the consequences of not taking it.
An hour after Israel launched its intense ground operation in Gaza on Friday, the UN general assembly voted 122 to 14, with 55 countries abstaining, for a humanitarian pause in Gaza.
While the UNSC resolutions are legally binding, the UN General Assembly resolutions are not – they merely reflect the stance of different nations.
The UAE’s UN representative also said that hospitals and UNRWA schools are protected sites under international law, and announcements that they need to be evacuated do not make it legal to target them.
Nusseibeh was referring to recent warnings from Israeli authorities to the Palestinian Red Crescent and Gaza’s Al-Quds hospital demanding they immediately evacuate the medical facility housing 400 patients and nearly 14,000 displaced Palestinian civilians.
On Monday, Israeli air strikes hit areas near Gaza City’s Al Shifa and Al-Quds hospitals, Palestinian media reported.
Israel said 1,400 people were killed in the October 7 Hamas attack, while the Palestinian Ministry of Health said more than 8,000 people, majority of which are children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its retaliatory strikes.
Rising violence in West Bank
Nusseibeh also highlighted the rise in violence in the occupied West Bank amid Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip and condemned the rising attacks on healthcare and UNRWA facilities.
Tensions have been running high in the West Bank in recent weeks. There has been an increase in Israeli raids on refugee camps and clashes between Palestinians and settlers in the West Bank.
Tensions erupted after Hamas launched its attack on Israel on October 7, which was met with non-stop air strikes and bombardments on the Gaza Strip.
More than 100 Israeli Army vehicles raided the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank early Monday morning, killing four Palestinians and wounding nine, the Palestinian state news agency (WAFA) reported.
Israeli army vehicles raided Jenin with an overhead drone shooting in all directions, including firing missiles at the Jenin refugee camp, and bulldozing part of the Ibn Sina hospital wall.