Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US defends Israeli attacks on Gaza at UN

15 November 2012, 12:30

New York - Arab nations demanded the UN Security Council condemn Israel's deadly attacks on Gaza at an emergency meeting late on 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, chairperson 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.

Peace efforts harmed

"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.

Death, destruction, trauma

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 those dead from the attacks.

Reports said on Thursday morning that 11 people had been killed in the strikes.

"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 29 November.

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."

Resolution proposed

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.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...