UN Security Council debates Gaza situation
( dpa ) - The UN Security Council held an open debate Tuesday on the situation in the Gaza Strip with the United States calling on the group to take an impartial stance on the conflict pitting Israel and the Hamas-held territory.
The debate, called at the request of the Arab League, came after Israel cut off much-needed electrical power and fuel to the area, amounting to a blockade against the civilian population of 1.3 million.
Israel reopened two of its border crossings with the Gaza Strip Tuesday morning to humanitarian aid and diesel fuel, after nearly four days of a total lock-down of the coastal salient in a bid to end rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory into Israel.
Richard Grenell, spokesman for the US Mission to the United Nations, said the council may issue a statement but it must be balanced in order for the US to support it.
"The statement has to be balanced, which talks about what happened first, who is responsible, and condemns that act," Grenell told reporters.
A draft statement prepared by the council president, Libyan Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi, would have the council expressing "deep concern" about the deterioration of the situation in Gaza and calling on Israel to abide by its international obligations and law to "immediately cease all its illegal measures and practices against the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza Strip."
Diplomats said the draft will be discussed by the 15-nation council, but they said there was no specific timeline of when it would be issued.