UNITED NATIONS – The Latest on a meeting at the U.N. Security Council on the Mideast and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (all times local):
The Palestinian U.N. ambassador is accusing Israel's military forces of targeting civilians in Gaza and has described their deliberate killing and wounding as "terrorism."
Riyad Mansour told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that "the international community must demand answers from Israel."
The U.N. Mideast envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, said 35 Palestinians have been killed and "large numbers" wounded by Israeli military forces since protests along the Gaza-Israel border began on March 30.
Mansor says it shouldn't be surprising that Palestinians "living in the longest military occupation and most protracted refugee crisis in modern history" would rise up peacefully "to demand their dignity and freedom" — especially in Gaza where he said its 2 million inhabitants are under an Israeli land, sea and air blockade.
Mansour urged the Security Council to take immediate action "to de-escalate this dangerous situation."
The U.N.'s top Mideast envoy says the Gaza Strip is "a powder keg" and declared that the world "must do everything possible to prevent another war" between Israel and the Palestinians and elsewhere in the Mideast.
Nickolay Mladenov also warned that prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace are slipping further away, "emboldening extremists and deepening polarization and mistrust on all sides."
He says that with tensions mounting across the region, "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a perpetual source of oxygen for militants and radicals across the Middle East."
Mladenov spoke to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday.
He says there is no military solution to any Mideast conflict and added that de-escalation is critical "in this highly charged and dangerous environment."
He urged everyone in the region "to step back from the brink."