UNITED NATIONS: The U.N. Security Council agreed on a statement on Sunday urging Israel, Palestinians and Islamist Hamas militants to implement a humanitarian truce beyond the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr and engage in efforts to achieve a durable ceasefire.
The statement expresses strong support for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance” in Gaza, where Israeli troops and
Hamas have been fighting for nearly three weeks. All 15 council members had agreed on the statement, diplomats said, and it would be formally adopted at a midnight
meeting on Sunday.
Gaza Strip residents and Reuters witnesses said Israeli shelling and Hamas missile launches slowly subsided on Sunday, suggesting a de facto truce might be taking shape ahead of the
Eid al-Fitr holiday, which begins on Monday.
The Security Council statement, drafted by Jordan, “urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond” and “calls on parties
to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative.”
Diplomatic efforts led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to end the conflict have shown little sign of progress. Israel and Hamas have set conditions that appear irreconcilable.