‘Investigate Mass Graves’ – Russia, Others Concerned about Israeli Invasion of Rafah

Vassily Nebenzia at a press conference following the UN vote on the Gaza resolution. (Photo: UN, video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The UN Security Council held an open session on Monday to discuss the situation in the Palestinian city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Emphasizing the urgency of resuming negotiations, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, highlighted the desperate situation in Rafah at the UN Security Council session.

Wennesland said that the situation in the city is “becoming increasingly desperate and dangerous for the already besieged population,” and urged all parties to “redouble all efforts and return to the negotiating table immediately and in good faith.”

US – Open Rafah Crossing

The deputy American delegate to the Security Council, Robert Wood, said that Israel must take decisive measures to correct the situation and ensure the protection of civilians.

“In recent weeks and months, the United States has proposed alternatives to a major ground offensive in Rafah,” Wood saiid.

The US also called on Israel to open the Rafah crossing.

“Israel should take immediate and decisive actions to remedy this situation and ensure protection of civilians. There must be no delay. Lives depend on it,” Wood said.

UK – Desperate Situation

British delegate to the UNSC, James Kariuki, said that “the situation in Gaza is desperate and the toll on civilians continues to grow.”

“Too many Palestinian civilians have been killed and there is an urgent need to get more aid to the people of Gaza to prevent a famine,” Kariuki also said, adding that “the UK is clear that we would not support an expanded operation in Rafah unless there is a very clear plan for how to protect people and save lives”.

Russia – Investigate Mass Graves

For his part, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said that Moscow supports a call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to investigate every death of humanitarian workers in Gaza.

“We demand from Israel strict compliance with the provisions of international humanitarian law, condemn attacks on UN personnel and humanitarian staff working on the ground, and support the call of the secretary-general for an international and independent investigation into all deaths of those who help Palestinians survive,” he said.

Nebenzia emphasized that “there are no stable channels of humanitarian assistance in the enclave,” noting that the Israeli army “has been blocking the entry of 3,000 trucks with humanitarian aid” in the past two weeks. 

Nebenzia again brought attention to the discovery of seven mass graves of Palestinians in Gaza.

“We are waiting for the results of an independent investigation, which in this regard was demanded by the UN Security Council in its press statement,” the envoy said.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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