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US blocks UN Security Council action on Gaza conflict
Published Tuesday 20/11/2012 (updated) 22/11/2012 00:59
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The United States said it opposed the Security Council statement
because it "failed to address the root cause," which the US says is
rocket fire from Gaza. (Reuters/File)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday blocked a UN Security Council statement condemning the escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, setting the scene for a possible showdown between Washington and Russia on the issue.

The United States opposed the statement - which had to be approved by consensus - because it "failed to address the root cause," missile attacks by Hamas - of the escalation in fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, said Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the US mission to the United Nations.

Israel said it was these Hamas rocket attacks that prompted its major offensive against the militants in Gaza on Wednesday.

"We made clear that we would measure any action by the Security Council based on whether it supported the ongoing diplomacy toward de-escalation of violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities," Pelton said.

"By failing to call for the immediate and permanent halt to rocket launches from Gaza into Israel, this press statement failed to contribute constructively to those goals," she said. "As such, we could not agree to this statement."

Russia said on Monday that if the 15-member council could not agree on a statement then it would put a resolution - a stronger move by the council than a statement - to a vote later on Tuesday to call for an end to the violence and show support for regional and international efforts to broker peace.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said later on Tuesday his resolution had been put on hold amid negotiations on a truce between Israel and Hamas militants, but if a ceasefire was not reached he might still put it to a vote.

"I think we should have said something (on the conflict) a long time ago," Churkin said. "We will assess the situation (on Wednesday morning)." The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet to discuss the conflict on Wednesday afternoon.

A resolution is passed when it receives nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the five permanent council members -- Russia, China, Britain, the United States and France.

The Security Council is generally deadlocked on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which UN diplomats say is due to US determination to protect its close ally Israel. The council held an emergency meeting last Wednesday to discuss the Israeli strikes on Gaza but took no action.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to the region on Tuesday to try to calm the conflict. Egypt was trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas.
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1 ) Julie / USA
21/11/2012 01:54
the "root cause" was that IZRAEL violated Gaza's borders FIRST and MURDERED AN INNOCENT BOY, and Hamas retaliated with rockets. then a truce was brokered by Egypt...which IZRAEL BROKE !!! - THIS is the root cause that started the war. to the corrupt US Admin: GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 ) Wolfstien / Usa
21/11/2012 02:04
As all ways

3 ) Kolin Thumbadoo / Australia
21/11/2012 02:14
It is with some degree of shame that the Australian government underscores it's supine and subservient devotion to the US on matters Palestine. The world knows only to well that the massacre in Gaza today is symtomatic of this illegitimate zionist state's practice since 1948.This is the root cause of the catastrophy.

4 ) Mel / USA
21/11/2012 03:00
This veto power by ONE member is SO IMPERIAL it's ludicrous! It merely reinforces the fact that the UNSC is just a dinosaur TOOL of unilateral super-power(USG control).Bravo Russia for challenging that unilateralism,on planet earth!The UN wasn't MEANT to be used as such!But then,the USG-post WW2-wasn't suppose to be SO IMPERIAL,exceptionalist or SELECTIVE in its "favors"!The USG is SO detached from global consensus,& doesn't SPEAK for the planet,ergo VETO is defunct.ABOLISH IT!

5 ) IVAN / RUSSIA
21/11/2012 08:10
ISRAEL ATROCITY UNDER US PATRONAGE IN GAZA IS GENOCIDE MR. OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 ) Rashid / Palestine
21/11/2012 14:13
Gee big surprise. I certainly didn't see a veto coming from the United States at the Security Council, yet again. Who knew that the Americans were so intent on maintaining Israeli impunity. Truth, Justice, Freedom, Liberty. These are the American way, no?

7 ) gabi / australia
22/11/2012 00:44
well said Kolin/Australia. Except it is with a HUGE degree of shame.
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