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Time to ‘right historic wrong’ of Palestine’s UN membership: Arab countries

A group of Arab UN member states has written to UN Security Council (UNSC) members imploring them to support Palestine’s bid for full UN membership.

“The time has come to right this historic wrong and fulfill the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, sovereignty, and statehood,” the Arab Group statement said.

“At the very least, we implore Council members not to obstruct this critical initiative”, the statement added, saying “anything less would be a blatant abdication of the Council’s responsibility to uphold the principles of the UN Charter and international law”.

More than the required two-thirds of UN General Assembly member states already recognise Palestinian statehood but the application must first be approved by the UNSC where permanent members, including the United States, can veto resolutions.

‘Vast majority’ of attacks on UN sites in Gaza carried out by Israeli forces: UNRWA

In the five months between the start of Israel’s war on Gaza on October 7 and March 15, the UN has documented 349 “incidents” – including attacks from air, land and naval forces – against premises flying the UN’s flag in the Palestinian enclave, which has resulted in the killing of 408 displaced people.

At least 15 children are among those killed and seven UN staff members, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said. At least 1,406 people were also injured in the documented attacks on UN facilities in Gaza, including 111 children and 43 UNRWA staff, according to data released on Tuesday.

UNRWA said it had been providing the coordinates of all its premises in Gaza to both Israeli forces and authorities in the Palestinian territory and had “strengthened” engagement regarding the location of UN sites in Gaza following the start of the war on October 7.

“While facts surrounding many incidents remain under verification, the information so far available to UNRWA indicates that damage and/or harm caused in the vast majority of incidents appears to have resulted in whole or in part from attacks and actions undertaken by Israeli Forces (both munitions impacts and interference with UN premises),” UNRWA said.

There were “a much smaller number of incidents from attacks and actions undertaken by Palestinian armed groups”, UNRWA added.

Search for survivors in Rafah city bombing

Palestinians search for survivors after an Israeli air attack on a house in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday morning. The AP news agency said the home belonged to the Abo al Hanood family. Wafa reported that seven people including children were killed in the attack.