Many members of the UN Security Council urged Israel to protect the lives of people in Gaza at an emergency meeting on Monday. The session was held after a resolution calling for a humanitarian truce was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Friday.
Gabon's Ambassador to the UN, Michel Xavier Biang, expressed concerns that Israel's fierce airstrikes and ground operation are resulting in an increase in the number of casualties.
US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield noted that Israel has the right to defend itself from terrorism, but that it must do so in a manner consistent with international humanitarian law.
Regarding the recently adopted UN General Assembly resolution, she said it is unconscionable that Hamas' actions were not condemned.
Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia denounced Israel for expanding its military ground operation in Gaza the day after the General Assembly adopted the resolution. Nebenzia also criticized the US. He said Washington is supporting a large-scale retaliation by Israel.
The Security Council has failed to adopt draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire four times since October 16, due to disagreements among its permanent members, including the US and Russia.
Japan and nine other non-permanent members of the Security Council are preparing a new draft resolution.