US defends Israeli attacks on Gaza at emergency UN meeting

Published: November 15, 2012
A rocket is launched from Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip towards Israel, on November 14, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

A rocket is launched from Rafah, in the southern Gaza strip towards Israel, on November 14, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS: Arab nations demanded the UN Security Council condemn Israel’s deadly attacks on Gaza at an emergency meeting late Wednesday, but the United States strongly defended Israel’s military strikes.

Egypt and other Arab states called for the emergency meeting after Israel staged more than 20 air strikes on the besieged Palestinian territory, killing Hamas military commander Ahmed Jaabari.

The 15-nation council did not condemn either side after the 90 minute meeting. Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s UN envoy and Security Council president, said: “All the statements that I heard resonated with one message – that the violence has to stop, there has to be de-escalation.”

Arab nations wanted the council “to condemn that barbaric attack” by Israel and “send a strong message to call for a cessation of hostilities,” said Sudan’s UN envoy Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, chairman of the Arab bloc at the UN.

The United States strongly defended the actions of its key Middle East ally however.

Highlighting Israel’s claim that at least 768 rockets have been fired from Gaza this year, US ambassador Susan Rice told the council: “Israel, like any nation, has the right to defend itself against such vicious attacks.

“There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organisations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately.”

Rice, a frontrunner to become the next US secretary of state, said the rocket attacks were harming efforts to end the Middle East conflict and create a Palestinian state.

“Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause.

“Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination and independence,” Rice said.

Britain’s UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant also condemned rocket attacks into Israel but called on Israel “to act in a way that de-escalates tensions.”

Only the Palestinian and Israeli ambassadors were allowed to address the meeting on top of the council envoys.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour told the council that a child of 11 months, two other children and a pregnant 19-year-old woman were among at least nine dead from the attacks.

“Death, destruction, trauma and terror are being rained upon our people before the eyes of the world,” Mansour said.

“The international community must act to bring an end to Israel’s illegal policies and practices against the Palestinian people,” he added.

Mansour said the attacks were linked to the Palestinian application for observer status at the United Nations, which is due to be voted on by the UN General Assembly on November 29.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that the military operation could be expanded and the country’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor said: “The goal of Israel’s operation is clearly defined – to remove a strategic threat to Israeli citizens.”

He told the council that Israel will not play “Russian roulette with the lives of our citizens.”

“Hamas has turned Gaza into a haven and a breeding ground for global terrorist organisations,” Prosor declared.

The Palestinian envoy said that if the council could not halt Israel’s attacks, the Palestinian Authority would come back and demand a formal condemnation of Israel.

He said this could include proposing a resolution, which the United States would almost certainly veto. The US administration uses its powers as a permanent member of the UN council to block any resolution condemning Israel.

Pakistan condemns attacks

Pakistan strongly condemned Israel’s anti-Palestinian offensive in the Gaza strip during the UN Security Council meeting and urged the council to demand an immediate cessation of its military actions.

Ambassador Masood Khan, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, said that the deadly Israeli offensive threatened international peace and security.

“Grave developments today in Gaza portend to threaten international peace and security. The council must play its part in arresting this trend,” he said.

Masood Khan said that the excessive use of force by Israel on peaceful protesters in a number of Palestinian cities was unacceptable.

“Israel should exercise restraint. The firing of rockets from Gaza should also stop… The international community should step in. The Security Council should ensure that hostilities cease forthwith and further escalation is arrested, without caveats and qualifications,” he said.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Acorn Guts
    Nov 15, 2012 - 1:33PM

    No surprise .. It’ll be horrible if there was peace in Middle East .. Right?Recommend

  • Hassan
    Nov 15, 2012 - 2:27PM

    Arab nations playing dual policies. If they are so much worried really, they should cut OIL supplies to US and other nato nations that are supporting the attack.


  • Afzaal Khan
    Nov 15, 2012 - 2:32PM

    Usual stuff from US wasn’t expecting anything different


  • Nov 15, 2012 - 2:38PM

    US support to Israel’s crimes against humanity is the biggest reason for all the anti-american sentiment in the world.


  • poleturtle
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:08PM

    The day US doesn’t is going to be Judgement Day-Finally !!


  • Islamist
    Nov 15, 2012 - 5:03PM

    This is why Al-Qaeda came into existence!


  • S K Afridi
    Nov 15, 2012 - 5:09PM

    Blind support provided by US to Israel has encouraged Israel to commit even more shameful and blatant crimes against humanity. This moral bankruptcy of the US administration will ultimately prove to be the main reason for the decline and then the down fall of this sole super power.


  • Nov 15, 2012 - 5:31PM

    Hassan: That’s rich coming from a Pakistani! On the one hand Pakistan has condemned Israeli actions, but on the other, it helps Israel’s biggest supporter, the USA, occupy Afghanistan and kill Pakistanis and Afghans.


  • Cautious
    Nov 15, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Pakistan strongly condemned Israel’s
    anti-Palestinian offensive in the Gaza
    strip during the UN Security Council
    meeting and urged the council to
    demand an immediate cessation of its
    military action

    And not a peep about the 768 rockets fired blindly into Israeli civilian populations — typical one sided condemnation from a Muslim country.


  • SK5
    Nov 15, 2012 - 6:41PM



  • Muhammad
    Nov 15, 2012 - 9:54PM

    Muslims also provide blind support to other muslims when they commit crimes against humanity so why blame the US. Dont be hypocrites.


  • S K Afridi
    Nov 15, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Unfortunately Muslims are a divided house. I wish they had some guts to provide blind support to their oppressed brethren.


  • HA
    Nov 15, 2012 - 11:23PM

    Might is Right?


  • Chaloo ji
    Nov 16, 2012 - 12:30AM

    Please read the history of the conflict first. Gaza is the biggest prison in the world. What if the same happened to India. How would you have responded. Typical response from an Indian.


  • Hassan
    Nov 16, 2012 - 10:00AM


    Yes thats a sad story of our politicians. We all as muslim nations do not care for our own people.


  • Analyzer
    Nov 16, 2012 - 10:03AM

    @Cautious: It seem your only source of knowledge and wisdom is Fox News. Try to read a history book on the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel sometime, maybe you’ll learn something.


  • asim
    Nov 19, 2012 - 11:34AM

    Dear hassan We condemn this deadly attack and may Allah give peace to all muslims of Gaza keep your faith on Allah, Allah is the only hope.

    And you were talking about the the arab countries they are puppets of america how can they cut their oil when america has a defense agreement with them.


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