Français   |  

Subscribe to the whole site

Home > English > NEWS AND ANALYSIS > Palestine Asks For International Protection

Palestine Asks For International Protection

Monday 14 July 2014, by Sergio Yahni

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is to ask the United Nations to put the state of Palestine under "international protection" due to the worsening violence and the subsequent humanitarian crisis in Gaza, said the PLO on a statement published Sunday.

Abbas will present a letter to this effect to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the PLO added.

Thousands of Palestinians fled the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday and sought refuge in UNRWA facilities following Israeli instructions.

Israeli forces dropped leaflets warning residents to leave their homes before midday on Sunday "for their own safety." Residents say they also received phone calls instructing them to evacuate their homes.

4,000 displaced Palestinians already received shelter in UNRWA schools across Gaza.

"More are arriving by the minute. They are mostly fleeing areas in the north," say Robert Turner, director of UNRWA operations.

A spokesman for the humanitarian organization said UNRWA facilities had the capacity to shelter some 35,000 people.

President Abbas wants an international commission of inquiry into Israel’s relentless air bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

In addition, Abbas has asked Switzerland, to ask the high contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to place sanctions on Israel which, as the occupying power, is responsible for the safety and well being of protected civilians.

As a non-member state of the United Nations, the state of Palestine is permitted to sign several international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions.

On Monday the foreign ministers of the Arab League meet in Cairo to discuss the Gaza crisis. The state of Palestine will urge them to "adopt a draft resolution at the ministerial level" to be presented to the UN Security Council.

The Palestinians would also seek an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council "to deal with the grave conditions in Gaza and hold Israel to account for its violations of international law and international humanitarian law."

With the Israeli campaign in its seventh day, at least 172 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,230 wounded. So far, there have been no Israeli fatalities.