The United Nations Security Council has reacted to the killing of Hamas’ military chief Ahmed Jaabari calling for “maximum restraint” following an emergency closed door session late on Wednesday.
There are fears the renewed attacks by Israel and the Palestinian militant group are starting to resemble the 2008 Gaza war, which saw more than 1,200 people killed.
The Palestinian Authority asked the council without success to issue a statement urging Israel to halt its offensive.
Ryiad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassdor to the UN said:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this latest aggression against our people. The situation is very explosive. They’re mobilising a large number of forces, ground forces, with the possibility of moving into the Gaza Strip”.
Earlier Israel signalled its readiness for the attacks to continue in the name of national security.
“Every state, every nation, every government has the right to defend its citizens. We will not allow that to continue. Any distortion of that sequence of events or facts will not only not lead to peace in the region but on the contrary would lead to additional violence,” said Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to the UN.
US President Barack Obama urged the Israeli Prime Minister to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. A White House statement says they agreed that “Hamas needs to stop its attacks” for the crisis to ease.