The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Thursday on the escalating violence between Israel and Hamas following a request by Arab envoys and UN chief Ban Ki-moon. Kuwaiti ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi had earlier urged the council to "stop the Israeli aggression and collective punishment of the Palestinian people," amid increased fighting between Israel and Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army's "disproportionate use of force is unjustifiable," charged Saudi ambassador Abdullah Al-Muallimi, urging the council to "intervene immediately and take measures to protect the population." And Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour accused the council of "dragging its feet while aggression and collective punishment are taking place." Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor retorted that "Hamas started this and has left us ** choice," emphasizing that the Israeli army "uses precision strikes to avoid killing civilians." The growing violence has also seen a rise in rocket attacks from Gaza aimed at Israel's cities and a nuclear reactor.




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