Israel to oppose UNSC resolution

Delegation instructed to emphasize Kassam threat ahead of UN Security Council meeting on Gaza Strip.

security council 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy )
security council 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy )
Israel's UN delegation has been instructed by the Director-General of the Foreign Ministry Mr. Aaron Abramovich to oppose any resolution in the Security Council Tuesday regarding Gaza, and emphasize the fact that Israel is acting in self-defense and the damage and suffering caused by the incessant firing of Kassam rockets at Sderot and other cities and communities nearby. "A situation in which the Security Council debates the plight of the residents of Gaza, while completely ignoring the situation of Israelis living under the constant threat of Kassam rockets, is totally unacceptable," Mr. Abramovich was quoted as saying in a statement by the Government Press Office. The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip following Israel's closure of all border crossings into the area last week. The meeting, which comes a day ahead of the council's planned consultations on the Middle East, including Israel and the Palestinian territories, was suggested by the Arab League which had gathered for an emergency meeting in Cairo Monday to discuss the situation in Gaza. "The [Arab League] council requested appropriate measures ... be taken by the Security Council to bring an immediate end to this onslaught of attacks against our people, particularly in the Gaza Strip," Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN observer, told reporters. Mansour said he and Arab ambassadors to the UN urged the council to adopt a statement expressing concern about the situation and asking Israel to reopen the borders, but there was no comment Monday about possible council action. The 15-member council met briefly Monday to decide whether to move up their regular consultation, which was scheduled for Wednesday. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called Israel's prime minister to share his concerns over developments in Gaza and southern Israel, the UN's head office said in a statement. It provided no other details, but UN officials last week also voiced concerns about the closures and their impact on the residents of Gaza. The cutoff of fuel prompted condemnation from aid and human rights groups, and the UN warned that international food aid to the impoverished territory may have to be suspended by the weekend. Israel has the right to defend itself, but must take responsibility for the effect its actions have on civilian populations, the US ambassador to the UN told reporters earlier on Monday. "We do believe that attacks against Israel are unacceptable and that it has the right to defend itself, but we have also said that when Israel defends itself it has to take the impact on the civilians into account," said Zalmay Khalilzad. On Monday, Israel announced it would allow for a one-time shipment Tuesday of fuel and medicine, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other officials maintained a hardline stance on Hamas and warned that Gaza residents would not be able to live a "pleasant and comfortable life" as long as southern Israel is under rocket attack.