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Arab FMs meet tomorrow to discuss Gaza

The Security Council is deeply divided and often paralyzed over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Published: Updated:

Arab foreign ministers are to meet in Cairo on Monday to discuss the escalating Israeli strike in Gaza, a diplomat said.

Kuwait, which holds the rotating leadership of the Arab League headquartered in the Egyptian capital, had demanded the “urgent” meeting, the diplomat said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians and their international supporters are discussing a U.N. draft resolution that would condemn all violence against civilians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and call for “an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire.”

An initial draft of the proposed Security Council resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, expresses “grave concern” at the escalating violence and deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories due to Israeli military operations, particularly against the Gaza Strip, and at the heavy civilian casualties including children.

The Council is deeply divided and often paralyzed over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the United States defending close ally Israel and the majority of other Council members firmly backing the Palestinians.

The Palestinian draft calls on the parties in the conflict to abide by their obligations under the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in war, to refrain from actions that could further destabilize the situation and to make urgent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.

The Palestinians began talks on the resolution after an emergency meeting of the council on Thursday.

“There’s a lot of diplomacy going on right now to achieve our shared goal, which is a reduction in tensions and ensuring the safety and security of civilians on both sides,” a US official said. “And we’ve engaged with Security Council delegations on this.”