Iran denounces UN ‘inaction’ on Gaza, France slams slaughter of civilians
TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani denounced Monday the “inaction” of the UN Security Council on Gaza, describing the conflict as a genocidal massacre of Palestinians by Israel.
His comments came at a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement’s (NAM) committee for Palestine, with several foreign ministers among officials from Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Sudan, Uganda and other member states.
“The savage aggression by the army of this child-killer regime (Israel), continues with a deliberate policy to commit genocide and massacre civilians and destroy infrastructure, houses, hospitals, schools and mosques,” Rouhani said in Tehran.
“The inaction of international bodies, in particular the Security Council, to prevent the crimes against humanity of the Zionist regime” is to be condemned, he added.
Iran does not recognize Israel’s existence and supports Palestinian Islamist groups that fight it.
Ahead of a temporary unilateral truce, Israel early Monday launched further strikes on Gaza, killing at least 16 people, including an Islamic Jihad commander, raising the Palestinian death toll to since July to 1,829, according to medics.
Just minutes into the truce a child was killed and 30 people wounded in a strike on a refugee camp in Gaza City, medics said.
The four weeks of violence have also killed 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians, who were hit by rocket fire.
Rouhani’s remarks were the latest to signal Tehran’s increased ire at Israel. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also described Israel’s actions in Gaza as genocide last week.
Rouhani on Monday criticized the “complicity of the United States and certain other members of the Security Council” with Israel, urging an international mobilization, including the NAM countries, to “stop the war crimes” of Israel.
Israel has defended its military action as Gaza as necessary to stop Hamas rockets being fired at its people.
Last month, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, told state television that Tehran had provided Hamas with the technology it has used to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel.
The commander of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, on Monday said Iran was ready to provide “any form of assistance to the Palestinian resistance,” according to the official IRNA news agency.
In the last major conflict in and around Gaza in November 2012, Larijani said Iran was proud to have provided “both financial and military support” to Hamas.
France demands political solution
In Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for a political solution to be “imposed” by the international community as he said Israel’s right to security does not justify its actions in Gaza.
“How many more deaths will it take to stop what must be called the carnage in Gaza?” Fabius said in a statement.
“The tradition of friendship between Israel and France is an old one and Israel’s right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians.”
The statement comes amid global outrage over an Israeli strike next to a UN school where ten people were killed, among them civilians who had been seeking refuge from the violence.
Fabius said Islamist group Hamas, the de facto rulers of Gaza, “clearly carries an overwhelming responsibility” for the conflict but that Israel was not justified in carrying out what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called “a criminal act” with the attack near the school.
“That is why we support and demand the establishment of a real cease-fire as proposed by Egypt and why we are ready, as French and Europeans, to contribute to it in a concrete way,” he said.
“It is also why a political solution is essential… and should in my opinion be imposed by the international community,” Fabius said.