UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis on Thursday denounced attacks by Hamas on Israel but condemned the “indiscriminate” attacks by Israel against Palestinians.
Francis said Hamas’ attacks were “shocking” and “has no place in our world,” in opening remarks to the Assembly’s emergency session on the conflict.
“Similarly, I condemn and reject the indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, and the scale of destruction of critical infrastructure by Israel,” he said. “The ceaseless bombardment of the Gaza Strip by Israel and its consequences are deeply alarming.”
He noted that the right of self-defense of Israel does not and cannot lawfully give it a license to “undertake indiscriminate and disproportionate reprisal.”
The violence must cease and further bloodshed must be prevented, he said.
He also demanded a “prompt and unconditional release of all hostages” by Hamas and urged an immediate, unconditional opening of humanitarian assistance and relief corridors.
“All parties to this conflict must abide by international humanitarian law and immediately create the necessary conditions to allow for an opening of a humanitarian corridor to the Gaza Strip,” he added.
The conflict in Gaza began Oct. 7 when the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood — a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air.
Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been running out of food, water, medicine, and fuel, and aid convoys recently allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.
At least 6,546 Palestinians have been killed, along with 1,400 Israelis in the conflict, according to official figures.