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UN Security Council meets, takes no action on Israel strikes
Published Thursday 15/11/2012 (updated) 16/11/2012 10:45
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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday night to discuss Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip but took no action, as Israel threatened a wider offensive.

Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, president of the 15-nation Security Council this month, told reporters after the 90-minute closed-door meeting that council members had only agreed to issue a communique stating that an emergency meeting took place and other procedural details.

Speaking on behalf of India, not the Security Council, Puri expressed the hope that the fact the council meeting took place would help to ease tensions in the Middle East and prevent an escalation of the conflict.

"The message that must be taken from this meeting is the violence must stop," he said, adding that the council was prepared to meet again on Gaza if necessary.

The Palestinians Authority had asked the council to issue a statement urging Israel to halt its offensive, but no such declaration was agreed.

Israel launched a new major offensive against Hamas in Gaza on Wednesday, killing Hamas' military commander in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group said would "open the gates of hell."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's press office said earlier in two separate statements that he spoke on the telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mohamed Mursi of Egypt.

"(Ban) expressed his concern (to Netanyahu) about the deteriorating situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, which includes an alarming escalation of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and the targeted killing by Israel of a Hamas military operative in Gaza," the United Nations said.

Ban also voiced his expectation that "Israeli reactions are measured so as not to provoke a new cycle of bloodshed."

He also discussed with Mursi "the need to prevent any further deterioration," the United Nations said.

US President Barack Obama also spoke with Netanyahu and Mursi and reiterated US support for Israel's right to self-defense in light of rocket attacks from Gaza, the White House said.

"The president urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate," the White House statement said.

Malicious onslaught

The emergency Security Council meeting came at the request of Egypt, Morocco and the Palestinians.

"Once again the international community is witness to Israel's malicious onslaught," the Palestinian Authority's UN envoy, Riyad Mansour, told the Security Council.

"The Israeli occupying forces are now mobilizing on the ground as we speak," Mansour said. "Fear and panic are spreading among the Palestinian civilian population."

Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority, controls Gaza.

US Ambassador Susan Rice told the council there was "no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel," according to the written text of her statement. "We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately."

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters as he left the council that "we need to see how the situation develops."

Speaking to reporters, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor urged the international community to condemn "indiscriminate rocket fire against Israeli citizens - children, women." He was referring to escalating rocket attacks from Gaza.

A group of Arab ambassadors appeared before reporters ahead of the council meeting. Speaking on their behalf, Sudanese Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman urged the council to condemn Israel's "barbaric heinous attack."

In a letter to the Security Council, Mansour also called for an end to "extrajudicial killing."

Prosor described the Hamas military commander killed by Israel, Ahmed al-Jaabari, as a "mass murderer" who had been planning fresh attacks against Israeli citizens.

The council's failure to take any action was not a surprise. It is generally deadlocked on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which envoys say is due to the US determination to protect Israel.

A new Gaza war has loomed for months as waves of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes have grown more intense and frequent.

Mansour said the Israeli action was intended to draw attention away from the Palestinians' plan to seek an upgrade of its observer status at the United Nations from that of an "entity" to a "non-member state," implicitly recognizing Palestinian statehood.

Israel and the United States have made clear they would oppose the Palestinian upgrade, which would give it the right to join international bodies like the International Criminal Court, where it could file legal complaints against Israel.

UN diplomats said a vote on the Palestinian request was tentatively scheduled for Nov. 29. A senior Western diplomat said the Palestinians would easily secure 120 to 130 votes out of the 193-nation General Assembly, which would ensure the success of their upgraded status at the United Nations.

Prosor told the council that the Palestinian push for a status upgrade was "march of folly."

"The Palestinian leadership is marching down a road that can only lead to more conflict, instability and violence," he said.
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1 ) shirley / australia
15/11/2012 06:29
this stinking dog ban ki moon that ISreals response are measured so it is alright for ISreal to kill people who resist occupation ad killingswarned this isa exactly what US wanted to cause major problem for EGypt and pals before voteand to intimidate countries not to support pals pals and HAMAS are voiceless against this monster just as syrians and Libyans PA must get message to UNSC taht ISreal strted the first round of violence and usinfg old excuses against like roackets wont work

2 ) shirley / australia
15/11/2012 06:35
who the hell is this ethnic cleanser and war criminal PROSSER the mouth piece of the 4th reicht US who has killed nearly as many people as HITLERthis hole of acountry is currently engaged in driving pals from their homes west bank and this SUB human has audacity to try and stop UNGA votebullying lying and threatening it will lead to more violence ISREAL is the perpertrator with US blessing the US does not want apal state and is cheering on Isreal so it spew its lies vote 29th nov not tentative

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
15/11/2012 06:45
Why should the UN take action? International law is very clear: you are NOT allowed to shoot rockets at civilians. Hamas policy is to shoot at Israeli civilians. That is a war crime and Hamas has been committing war crimes for decades. Rockets are illegal. Suicide bombings are illegal. Shooting civilians is illegal. Hamas does it all. This is war, and the UN is not interfering for good reason - Hamas is the guilty party.

4 ) shirley / australia
15/11/2012 07:05
now is time for ababss and al to move UNGA vote forward there was no tentaive date set but concrete and maan news should stop immediatley it corrosive polcy of weakening the move to UNGAby distorting the facts and especially USING ZIONIST REUTERS as asource of ?news mpropaganda hiding behind this was areport by reuters is not enough you more than anybody had full acess to news over PA UNGA bid dates and AL support but insr=tead you choose to use REUTERS deceptive report

5 ) shirley / australia
15/11/2012 07:12
someone shoulkd remind this foul mouth prosser that ISreaal was formed by terrorists trhat the US hires merceneries to carry out terrorist attacks under the lie thatr they are al qeadaand has had to admit it used MKO in IRan and Isreal created by terrorists and Isreal uses parcel bombs on palestinians so who are the terrorists and again PA amust reiterate it was Isreal that started the violenceansd shame on Russia trhat shows little sympathy for pals and allows Isreal US lies to prevail

6 ) shirley / australia
15/11/2012 07:21
and that RUSSIA obviously like INdia and Chainado not bother to equate them selves with the facts and how pal civillaians killed started the violence but allow US tirade of lies and abuse and demanizing to take hold call on Pals to stand fast and go to UNGA and not let any of this deter the vote this is exactly what US Isreal want CHINA is beside you as is many other countries only by locking in borders to you stop US Isreal agenda

7 ) where is GOLDSTONE??? / did he turn to
15/11/2012 10:53
Silverstone?

8 ) shirley / australia
15/11/2012 11:16
guess what maan news and US regardless of Hamas rhetoric ISREAL FIRED THE FIST SHOT UNPROVOKED AND KILLED @ PALESTINIAN CHILDREN THE US IS A HYPOCRITICAL HOLE ALONG WITH CANADA AND ALUS POODLE STATES THERE HAS BEEN CALM FOR LONG PERIODS BUT ISREAL HAD TO MAKE SURE IT GOT A VIOLENT RESPONSE THIS TIME

9 ) Mel / USA
15/11/2012 15:17
2-FACED,DOUBLE-STANDARD,LILY-LIVERED COWARDS!AND SHAME ON U RUSSIA! I can believe all the cowardly USG-lap-dogs not having courage to stand up for Gazan children GETTING FRIED & blown to pieces by ISRAELI GUIDED MISSILES,in blockaded Gaza! But SHAME on U Russia,& China,especially when U KLNOW USG,EU,UK are aiming to come for U thru'Eurasia,Syria,Iraq,& ? attacks on Iran! UNSC is nothing but a self-serving,subservient-to-USG imperialist/war-mongering "court",of cowards,BOMBING ARAB CHILDREN!

10 ) @ Mel-9 / USA too
15/11/2012 17:57
-1- If you hate the state that provides for you, then remember that
you are free to leave, and should do so, and never return, and
-2- If Hamas cares for the people, they will accept peace,
and sign a treaty with Israel, to end the fighting forever, and
-3- Israel has the same rights in 2012 (a rocket-free Gaza), as the USA had in 1962 (a ballistic missile-free Cuba), and FYI
-4- The USA (like Israel) used a naval blockade to prevent offensive rockets from reaching it's enemy !!!!

11 ) Big Mike / Bad ol USA
16/11/2012 00:39
10 ) @ Mel-9 / USA too; Just because someone is born in a country doesn't mean you have to love it. There is a lot of things I personally don't like about this USA but that doesn't mean I'm going to renounce my right to live here. My ancestors came over on the Mayflower many years ago and many of them would roll in their graves to see the mess this country is now. USA has a lot to be ashamed of... a very evil government etc... a pattern set for Zionist state.

12 ) ian / australia
16/11/2012 01:02
#3 "International law is very clear" Yes it is. Collective punishment is illegal. The blockade is illegal. The occupation is illegal. Settlements are illegal. "...you are NOT allowed to shoot rockets at civilians." Palestinian civilian deaths will FAR outnumber Israeli civilian deaths (and Israel has far more accurate weapons). Meaning what? The IDF are bad shots and keep missing? "...Hamas has been committing war crimes for decades." Yes it has. Like Israel. "This is war," Yes it is...cynically

13 ) Amira / Canada
16/11/2012 01:02
to 3) Brian Cohen / Israel (i.e. Palestine)
- Its's apartheid israel started the bombing of Gaza, keep arresting Palestinians just because they are Palestinians, often with no charge, keep torturing, aggressing at checkpoints, puting Palestinians under illegal an inhuman siege, stealing their water and resources, confiscating land non-stop...
- settlers (i.e. land-thieves) attack Palestinians, steal their homes, burn their olive trees and this terror is on-going
- Gaza defense is legitimate!

14 ) ian / australia
16/11/2012 01:02
(contd.) instigated (and escalated) by Israel. "Hamas is the guilty party." Hamas is ONE guilty party, for targetting civilians...Israel is the OTHER for planning and executing the whole thing.

15 ) Amira / Canada
16/11/2012 01:16
to 3) Brian Cohen / Israel (i.e. Palestine)
- settlements are ILLEGAL under Intenational Law
- settlers are not civilians. They are the arm of occupation because they live on stolen land and the legitimate owners, the Palestinians, are made refugees and under siege!
- question to all settlers: if you have a conscience, how do you feel living in someone'else home?

16 ) @ Big Mike -11 / USA too
16/11/2012 04:09
You personally "have a lot to be ashamed of", with a "pattern" of hatred and support Islamic militants' War Crimes, of targeting civilians, and using civilians as human-shields, and there can be NO legitimate excuses for either the actions of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PRC, PFLP, etc., or your defense oftheir methods !!

17 ) @ Ian-12 / The Law
16/11/2012 04:15
-A- Israel helps provide the food, water, electricity, medicines, etc., in which "International law is very clear", and the rest of Israel's actions can be seen as self-defense, which is a right of all states, and -B- "International law is very clear" about targeting civilians, and about using civilians as human-shields, where every days GAZA'S MILITANTS engage in WAR CRIMES TO NUMEROUS TO COUNT !!!!

18 ) Big Mike / USA
16/11/2012 14:54
To 16 ) USA too; No need for shame here! Your best friends tell you the truth. There is one basic and simple principle that Izrael needs to practice...treat others as you would want them to treat you and you will earn other's respect rather than the extreme measures of criticism the world is about to express toward the z state in the upcoming UNGA vote. Laws are made for those that don't practice, by nature, human rights of all. That's why Izrael needs to be called to task for their lawlessness.

19 ) ian / australia
18/11/2012 08:09
#18 Beautifully put Big Mike. You, Rabbi Hillel and Jesus. What you all said.
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