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Jordan proposes ceasefire resolution at UN Security Council

By Khetam Malkawi , Agencies - Jul 23,2014 - Last updated at Jul 23,2014

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday called for an immediate ceasefire of the Israeli aggression in Gaza, cautioning against the consequences of the catastrophic campaign in the region, according to a Royal Court statement. 

Meanwhile, at the UN Security Council, Jordan on Tuesday submitted a draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, protection for civilians and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

The draft text, seen by AFP, calls for lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza and renewed efforts to achieve a two-state peace deal for Israel and Palestine.

During a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is visiting Jordan as part of a regional trip in an attempt to push for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, King Abdullah highlighted Jordan’s contacts with various Arab, regional and concerned international parties and through its membership in the UN Security Council to push for passing the draft resolution. 

At the meeting, King Abdullah asserted Jordan’s support for the Egyptian initiative to arrive at a ceasefire as soon as possible, underlining the need to rally international support for it. 

King Abdullah strongly condemned the Israeli aggression and urged the international community to shoulder its responsibility to secure protection for the Palestinian people, provide them with medical and humanitarian aid, and support Jordan’s efforts by facilitating aid delivery and the treatment of the wounded people of Gaza. 

The King said the serious conditions in Gaza, which cannot be tolerated, highlight the centrality of the Palestinian cause, noting that unless the decades-old conflict is resolved, the state of despair and frustration will increase and lead to further instability in the entire region. 

His Majesty noted that the developments in Gaza do not justify Israel’s unilateral measures in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in East Jerusalem and within the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque. 

The Monarch and the UN chief also addressed the crisis in Syria and conditions in Iraq, agreeing on the need for a political solution to end the turmoil in both neighbours. 

Regarding the situation in Iraq, the King reiterated Jordan’s concern about the security of the country, its people and territorial integrity, calling for an inclusive political process that engages all components of Iraqi society.  

The UN secretary general briefed the King on the outcome of several meetings he held during his tour to discuss the situation in Gaza. 

Expressing the UN’s appreciation of Jordan’s relief efforts for Gaza, he said the UN would continue with its efforts to achieve calm and arrive at a ceasefire.     


‘Killing of civilians must stop’


At a separate meeting with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Ban on Wednesday urged both Israel and Hamas to cease fire, noting that the killing of civilians must stop.

During a joint press conference with Judeh, the UN chief said Palestinian civilians, particularly women and children, are being killed in large numbers, noting that a child has been killed every hour in Gaza over the past few days.

“This is an unacceptable situation,” Ban said. 

The UN official extended his appreciation to King Abdullah for the support provided to the people of Gaza, including humanitarian assistance and medical aid.

Ban has visited Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine and Israel and was due to visit Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

On his tour, he commented: “My message has been consistent… this must stop, it must stop now.”

Ban also announced his support for the Egyptian initiative.

“The Egyptian government has provided a very good proposal,” Ban told the press. “I am here… to add my voice and to add my support for peace to come to the people of the region.”

Speaking on humanitarian issues, Ban said the UN has made an appeal recently for $115 million to help the people of Gaza and the rest of Palestine.

“This is an emergency support effort. At this time $70 million is urgently needed for food, shelter, health, water and sanitation,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Judeh reiterated Jordan’s call for ending hostilities, noting that “our objective is to arrive at a ceasefire”.

He also reiterated the Kingdom’s support for the Egyptian initiative that was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas.

“The initiative is extremely important to end the killing,” Judeh said in reference to the Egyptian initiative.

For its part, the Jordan delegation to the UN Security Council has strongly reiterated its condemnation of the Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip, calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibility to end the large-scale suffering of the Palestinian people. 

Heading the Jordanian delegation, Mahmoud Hmoud said Israel’s excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians in the coastal enclave has nothing to do with the Israeli justification of war as self-defence. 

Hmoud also said that the Israeli army is deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza, as part of Israel’s “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people. 

He urged the international community to pay attention to the human suffering in Gaza and work on securing an immediate supply of food items, medicine and other needs. 

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