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UN Human Rights Council to hold emergency session on Gaza tomorrow

The United Nation's Human Rights Council is holding a special meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip in response to a request ​made by Egypt, Palestine and Pakistan.

A statement issued by the Council yesterday and published on its official website reads: "The President of the Human Rights Council received a letter on Friday July 18 signed by the Permanent Representative of Egypt on behalf of the Arab Group, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine containing the request to convene the Special Session."

According to a statement of the Geneva-based Council, the majority of the council's Member States supported the request. The Human Rights Council has 47 Member States and in order for a Special Session to be convened, the support of one-third of the Council – 16 or more – is required.

A high-level Egyptian diplomatic source said that his country had agreed with the Arab and Islamic group in Geneva to submit a request to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations for holding an emergency session to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip.

The source added: "The meeting aims to discuss the deteriorating situation in Gaza, especially after the rise in the number of those dead and injured, and to ensure protection for civilians."

This comes as Egypt attempts to activate an initiative which it had proposed, last week, for a ceasefire in Gaza, which includes the cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian factions, the opening of border crossings and facilitating the movement of persons and goods through border crossings in light of the stability of the security situation on the ground.

Hamas has rejected the initiative because it "does not respond to the Palestinian conditions".

Previously, a source close to Hamas said that that the Palestinian resistance factions had submitted its demands to Qatar, Turkey and the Arab League.

The source said that the Palestinian factions have six demands to accept a truce in Gaza, the most important of which is lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip.

Since July 7, the Israeli Air Force has been attacking different parts of the Gaza Strip, in a military operation that Israel called "Operation Protective Edge", which has resulted in the death of 604 citizens, and the injury of about another 3,500 Palestinians in Gaza.

On the other hand, the operation caused the death of 27 Israeli soldiers.

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