The UN Security Council has called for an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, but both the Israeli and Palestinian envoys to the UN criticised the statement.
A statement endorsed by the Security Council after an emergency session called for a durable truce based on an Egyptian initiative from the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr and beyond. It emphasised that humanitarian facilities, such as those run by the UN where an estimated 10% of the Gaza population are sheltering, should be protected.
The weekend saw sort-term peace initiatives from both Israel and Hamas, but the two sides cannot come to an agreement on terms.
In an interview with CBS, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that the Palestinians are ready to coexist with Jews in the region, but could not continue to live under Israeli “occupation” and with the “”settlers”.
Mashall told interviewer Charlie Rose:
“I’m ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and with the Arabs and non-Arabs and with those who agree with my ideas and those who disagree with them. However, I do not coexist with the occupiers, with the settlers”
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Mina Tzemach for the Jerusalem Post found the 86.5% of Israelis agreed that Israel cannot accept a cease-fire because “Hamas continues firing missiles on Israel, not all the tunnels have been found, and Hamas has not surrendered”.
More than 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, 43 Israeli soldiers, and two Israeli civilians have been killed in more than two weeks of fighting. A Thai national has also died in Israel.