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Gaza: US Veto Blocks UN Action On Israel Invasion

United States vetoes Security Council text demanding Israel withdraw from Gaza

The United Nations Security Council today failed to adopt a resolution that would have demanded Israel halt all military operations in northern Gaza and withdraw from the area.

The United States vetoed the draft, which received 11 votes in favour, with Germany, Romania and the United Kingdom abstaining.

Speaking prior to the Council's vote, Ambassador John C. Danforth of the United States called the proposed text "lopsided and unbalanced" for containing many "material omissions" and said it deserved a no vote.

Ambassador Danforth said it not only encouraged the terrorists, but would not do anything to prevent the predictable Israeli response. "Ultimately a resolution like this emboldens terrorists, encourages counter-attacks and contributes to the ultimate terrorist goal of derailing the peace process," he said. "The Security Council should reverse the incessant stream of one anti-Israel resolution after the other and apply pressure even-handedly, on both sides, to return to the road of peace."

Ambassador Abdallah Baali of Algeria, a co-sponsor of the resolution along with Pakistan and Tunisia, said he regretted that a "balanced and credible text" did not gain unanimous endorsement by the Council.

"By failing to take action, the Security Council is failing its responsibilities. It is once again failing the Palestinian people and once again it is sending the wrong message to the world. It is confirmed that when it comes to Israel, the Security Council is unable to take action, let alone under Chapter VII. It is sending the impression that it is effective only when it deals with Arab countries," he said.

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The Permanent Observer of Palestine, Nasser Al-Kidwa, called today another “sad day” for the Security Council for its failure again to fulfil its responsibility in maintaining international peace and security. “The Council failed to take a stand vis-à-vis the bloodshed against the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation forces,” he said. “The Council failed to call for an end to bloodshed and destruction.”

Ambassador Dan Gillerman of Israel said a resolution that sought to condemn mechanisms for fighting terrorism, instead of the terrorism itself, distorted the seriousness of the issues at hand. “A resolution that indicts the victims of terror rather than their murderers is wrong and shameful,” he said.

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