Rockets Left Out of Security Council Draft

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CBNNews.com - The U.N. Security Council has been debating the content of a nonbinding presidential statement, drafted by Libya, condemning Israel's closure of the Gaza Strip.

Several U.N. member delegations, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, said the statement must include information on the Kassam rocket attacks, which precipitated Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision to close the border crossings last Thursday.

At a press briefing Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Libya's draft document was not acceptable because it made no mention of the rocket attacks on Israeli citizens.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking with reporters at the Zurich airport before leaving for the World Economic Forum in Davos, said Washington "was very concerned that both the security concerns of Israel and the humanitarian concerns of the Gazans be met."

In a second address to the Security Council Tuesday afternoon, Israeli counselor Gilad Cohen spoke openly of Syria's complicity with terror groups.

"It is, hence, the height of hypocrisy, cynicism and indecency for the distinguished representative of Syria to address the council and condemn Israel for merely defending itself against the very Hamas terrorists that it [Syria] supports.

"Damascus is home and headquarters to numerous terrorist organizations, including Islamic Jihad and Hamas -- the latter whose political leader, Khaled Mashaal, lives there [in Damascus] while continuing to orchestrate the killing of Israelis," Cohen said.

"Israel urges all states to end their support for terrorists and terrorism, in accordance with international law."

Cohen also admonished Libyan Ambassador Giadallah Ettalhi for his "deeply regrettable" use of the term "genocide" for the situation in Gaza.

"It is highly insensitive to the survivors of genocide around the world and to the sensibilities of this council for language to be used so cheaply," Cohen said.

"My delegation urges member states to be more responsible with the language used in their statements," he said.

The Libyan ambassador is acting president of the Security Council this month.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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