Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, describing the Israeli attacks on Gaza as "massacre of Palestinians" and "the most possible heinous crime," Tuesday called on the UN Security Council to take "the first necessary step" to save the Palestinian people in Gaza against a backdrop that "the Israeli machine of destruction continues to kill."
President Abbas, addressing an open Security Council meeting, told an audience of Security Council members and a team of Arab foreign ministers, "Before taking the details of the possible draft resolution, ...I will face the Security Council, and call upon it to take the first necessary step to save my people in Gaza. "
Abbas is at the UN Headquarters in New York to press for the adoption of a draft resolution by the 15-member Security Council to call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.
"The choice before you is clear-cut," he said, adding that the Security Council should send a clear message to the international community that "the United Nations will not ignore our tragedy today."
"There is an urgent need upon which we can build the basis" for a speedy end to the ongoing violence and bloodshed in Gaza, efforts to prevent its recurrence and to achieve "complete and neutral peace" in the region, he said.
Any delay in ending the conflict "will deepen the tragedy", he said. "Any delay will make all of our people and particularly our young generations feel that hope of peace and the legitimate right to live under the international law will be mirages, that will never come true."
More than 500 Palestinians were reportedly killed and 2,500 others injured since Israel launched air strikes on Gaza on December 27, 2008 to retaliate for the firing of rockets into southern Israel by Hamas militants.
Due to the ongoing Israeli military assaults, "children fall before their mothers and roofs fall down on the entire families," he said. "Gaza today is living in a new Palestinian catastrophe."
"Sixty years and more following our first catastrophe, the Israeli machine of destruction continues to kill, to commit the most possible heinous crime," he said. "The mothers and fathers can not bury their children in the rain of bombs" in Gaza.
"Do not allow one more Palestinian child be killed. Do not let one more mother cry over the death of her children," he said in his appeal to the council.
The Security Council, which remained divided on the Gaza conflict, failed to reach a consensus on how to end the violence and bloodshed in Gaza and southern Israel since Israel started ground operations into Gaza over the weekend. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it is regrettable that the Security Council takes no action on the Gaza conflict and repeated his appeals for an immediate truce.
(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2009)