Israeli official: ‘The equation is simple’


  • NEW: Israeli official: “We are now maintaining an unlimited humanitarian cease-fire”
  • Both Palestinian and Israeli ambassadors express disappointment after a U.N. statement
  • 1,062 Palestinians have been killed — most of them civilians, officials say
  • Hamas and Israel fired at each other again Sunday after a temporary cease-fire

Jerusalem (CNN) — With more than 1,000 people killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting in New York early Monday to push for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.”

The halt in violence would allow for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, the 15-nation council said.

But as the past week has shown, cease-fires between the dueling sides are short-lived.

At its midnight meeting, the Security Council also proclaimed its support for “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 as envisioned in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008).”

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Smoke rises over Gaza City on Sunday, July 27. Hamas and Israel began firing again at each other Sunday after a temporary truce on Saturday, renewing the recent violence that has taken more than 1,000 lives. Smoke rises over Gaza City on Sunday, July 27. Hamas and Israel began firing again at each other Sunday after a temporary truce on Saturday, renewing the recent violence that has taken more than 1,000 lives.

Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza


























Israel's ground offensive in Gaza Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza

But the statement did not appease the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, who wanted the Security Council to pass a resolution calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

“They should have adopted a resolution (a) long time ago to condemn this aggression and to call for this aggression to be stopped immediately to provide the Palestinian people with protection and to lift the siege against our people in the Gaza Strip,” Palestinian ambassador Riyah Mansour said.

Jordan has circulated a draft resolution that called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces, but that resolution never passed.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations was also unimpressed by the Security Council’s statement.

Ron Prosor said the statement “miraculously managed not to mention Hamas, or rockets, or Israel’s right to defend its citizens.”

“The equation is simple,” the ambassador said. “When it is quiet in Israel, it will be quiet in Gaza.”

Mounting casualties

With Israel and Hamas at an impasse, civilians are often paying the price.

At least 1,062 Palestinians have been killed and 6,037 wounded since the Israeli operation against Hamas in Gaza started almost three weeks ago, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra said.

The U.N. says 73% of those killed were civilians, and 200 were children.

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The Israeli operation against Hamas started with airstrikes on July 8. Israeli troops launched a ground incursion into Gaza on July 17.

Israel Defense Forces said 43 Israeli troops have been killed in the Gaza operation. Two Israeli civilians have been killed.

Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., said Hamas has fired 2,500 rockets indiscriminately into Israel. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has thwarted many of the rockets.

Israel: We’re not responsible for Gaza school deaths

The Israeli military said it was not responsible for anyone killed last week when an “errant Israeli motar” hit the courtyard of a U.N. school that was shelter to many Gaza residents.

U.N. and Palestinian officials said 16 people were killed and hundreds wounded Thursday when the school in northern Gaza was struck.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said militants had fired anti-tank missiles from the immediate area of the school, and the IDF fired several mortars back in that direction.

“A single errant Israeli mortar landed in the courtyard in the school,” Lerner said. “The footage we have shows the courtyard was empty.”

“We reject the claim that people were killed by the IDF mortar on the school premises,” he added. But Lerner said there could have been people who were wounded by shrapnel.

When asked how Israel could know whether people were killed versus injured in the school yard, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said the incident was tragic.

“First of all, what happened at the school was a tragedy. Innocent people were killed,” spokesman Mark Regev said. “The question is who is responsible, and for that we have to look at seriously and judiciously and make sure we get to the truth.”

Map of the Middle East Map of the Middle East

Map of the Middle EastMap of the Middle East

A CNN team that visited the shelter several hours after the mortar attack saw evidence that people were badly wounded, if not killed, at the courtyard.

The team saw blood and strewn possessions concentrated close to the edge of the courtyard along the wall of the building, the area that would have been shady around 3 p.m. when the school was hit.

The IDF released a high-altitude aerial video of the round hitting the school, but it did not have high resolution and it is impossible to tell if anybody was sitting on the courtyard edge.

CNN has asked the IDF for a higher resolution version of the video, as well as a version that includes a time stamp.

The team also saw a shrapnel field ranging from a few inches above the ground to the top of the main three-story school building, with the blast field extending down the corridor of the main school building.

Security experts CNN consulted said the shallow point of detonation was consistent with a mortar round set to “airburst,” meaning it would explode a few feet above the ground to maximize enemy casualties.

Cease-fire broken

Hamas and Israel began firing at each other again Sunday after a temporary cease-fire Saturday failed.

But the few hours of peace Saturday allowed medical supplies to be brought into Gaza, families to emerge from shelters and people to dig out the dead from piles of rubble.

Hamas said it renewed its rocket attacks because of Israel’s “lack of commitment” to peace.

Israel Defense Forces said it resumed its offensive because it was being attacked.

“Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

During the temporary cease-fire, Israel continued its efforts to destroy militant tunnels from Gaza into Israel.

On Monday, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel has been holding its fire since Sunday night but has continued efforts to destroy tunnels.

“We are now maintaining an unlimited humanitarian cease-fire,” he told CNN’s New Day. “Our troops will only fire if they come under direct attack.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes for sustained calm “as soon as possible.”

But he told CNN’s Candy Crowley that two issues need to be addressed: peace for Israel through demilitarizing Gaza, and social and economic relief for the residents of Gaza.

Official: Palestinian leaders headed to talks

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is forming a delegation that would head to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to engage in more diplomacy, a senior adviser said.

Abbas is waiting for a final answer on the initiative from Hamas leaders, who were meeting in Qatar, senior Abbas adviser Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

Shtayyeh accused Israel of having a “hidden agenda.”

“Israel wanted to keep Gaza separate from the rest of the Palestinian territory,” he said.

Shtayyeh said Israeli troops occupy 50% of Gaza and should withdraw. Not doing so, he said, endangers chances for a cease-fire.


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Sara Sidner reported from Jerusalem; Holly Yan reported and wrote from Atlanta; and Richard Roth reported from the United Nations. CNN’s Karl Penhaul in Gaza City, Yousuf Basil, Salma Abdelaziz, Elise Labott, Tim Lister and Amir Tal and contributed to this report.

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