Kuwait Ambassador to the UN Masour Ayyad Al-Otaibi - the current Chairman of the Arab group, along with other ambassadors, urged the Security Council President Eugene Gasana, of Rwanda, to convene an urgent meeting of the Council to address the "serious situation" in the Gaza Strip.
The call was jointly made by Ambassador Al-Otaibi and the chairmen of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Saudi Arabia; the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Iran, and the Inalienable Rights Committee, Senegal; and the ambassadors of Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon and the Arab League after their the meeting here on Wednesday. There are signs that a meeting will take place very soon, maybe "within hours," Ambassador Al-Otaibi told a press conference.
"We asked the Council President that the members should meet, consider and address the serious and grave situation in Gaza and to shoulder the responsibility entrusted to them in the UN Charter to maintain peace and security, and to stop the Israeli aggression and collective punishment of the Palestinian people," he said.
"There is a lack of response -- We want to see them act, not only to meet and consider and discuss the situation. It is about time the Council issues a presidential statement, or a resolution, if the ongoing aggression continues. This is a clear violation of international law and the UN charter," he stressed.
He indicated that Gasana promised to convey the group's request to the Council members and "we believe there will be a meeting in the near future. We don't know the outcome yet, but we will be in close consultation with the Council members."
Saudi Ambassador Abdullah Al-Muallimi also told the same press conference that the group expressed its "outrage at the reaction of the international community, particularly of the Security Council, to the barbaric onslaught that Israel is currently conducting against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip in particular."
This kind of collective punishment, disproportionate application of force, ongoing onslaught, he added, are unprecedented in scale and scope against the Palestinian people is "unjustifiable and should not be condoned, and should not be allowed to continue." "We ask the international community to intervene immediately to stop the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. We insist on protective measures to be taken in all parts of the occupied territory --We have seen all kinds of aggression under the pretext of self-defence. As if only Israel has that right and the Palestinian people don't," he said.
"We request the Council to take the necessary action -- This is another reminder to all of us that the Palestinian issue remains the core of all issues in the Middle East, and without a just, fair and comprehensive resolution to this issue, we will continue to have situations that threaten international peace and security," he insisted.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour also told the press conference that the group conveyed to the Council President "in the strongest terms our condemnation of this outrageous onslaught against the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip."
"We expressed the outrage of our people that the Council is dragging its feet while this aggression and collective punishment is going on. We demanded that the Council act and act immediately to bring this aggression to a halt, to bring those responsible to justice, and to provide protection to the Palestinian people," he said. "We believe that very soon, in the hours to come, the Council meeting will take place," he added.