The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for “full adherence to the ceasefire” between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in its first statement since violence erupted on May 10th.
Saturday’s statement, endorsed by the 15 UNSC members, said it “regretted the loss of civilian lives as a result of the violence” and “stressed the immediate need for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, especially in Gaza.”
The 11-day Israeli bombing of Gaza killed at least 248 people, including 66 children, and injured more than 1,900 people.
At least 12 people in Israel were killed by rocket fire from Gaza.
The statement also said it was urgent to restore calm and “reiterated the importance of achieving a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders.” .
The United States, Israel’s closest ally, had previously blocked four proposals for council statements calling for a ceasefire that all other members supported, saying it could interfere with the president’s administration’s efforts. Joe Biden to end Israel’s military campaign.
On Saturday, Qatar promised to work with other Arab nations and Muslim countries to help stop Israel’s attacks on Palestinians, while Mauritania’s parliament urged the International Criminal Court’s ruling to prosecute Israeli officials for “genocide” over its military campaign in Gaza .
Meanwhile, Palestinians from Gaza took to the streets to greet the ceasefire, continuing the trend from Friday when fighting ceased.
Hundreds of Hamas fighters wearing military camouflage marched in front of the mourning tent for Bassem Issa, a senior commander killed in the fighting.
The top Hamas leader in Gaza, Yehiyeh Sinwar, paid his respects in his first public appearance since the fighting began earlier this month.
Israel bombed Sinwar’s house, along with that of other prominent Hamas figures, as part of its attack on what it said was the group’s military infrastructure.
Protests around the world
Pro-Palestinian solidarity marches were held on Saturday in the wake of the week-long protests. with demanding protesters their respective governments impose sanctions and a military embargo to reduce the supply of weapons to Israel.
Protests were held in Berlin, Melbourne, London and Paris, while many were scheduled for the weekend in other major cities, including New York.
“I am so proud that we have come together to do something so important,” Amal Nagvi, who attended the London rally, told Al Jazeera.
“A lot of people think this doesn’t matter … they think we’re just leaving and shouting. But things have changed and we won’t stop until this change comes to a place and we have a free Palestine.”
Thousands of people also gathered in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, calling for coexistence between Jews and Arabs.
The demonstration was one of several held throughout Israel to demand peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Protesters marched through the city and later gathered in central Habima Square to listen to politicians and artists.
“This is one of the rare cases where you will see Israelis speaking out against the occupation,” Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid said, reporting from Tel Aviv.
The rally was organized mainly by left-wing groups and Palestinian-Israeli parties, with protesters holding a sign that said “Peace now,” he said.