Security Council Drops Gaza Condemnation

Ad Feedback - UN Security Council efforts to reach a consensus on Israeli sanctions in the Gaza Strip were abandoned Tuesday.

After a week of negotiations on a statement drafted by Libya, the council shelved the project Tuesday, after nearly reaching a consensus on Friday.

By week's end, 14 members of the Security Council were satisfied with the draft. But Tuesday, Libya's Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi submitted additional changes following weekend consultations with other Arab countries.

When members failed to reach a consensus on the additions, the effort was dropped.

Speaking with reporters after Tuesday's session, Ettalhi said the Arab League would decide whether to call an emergency session over the situation in Gaza.

Friday's draft called on Israel "to minimize the impact of its actions on the civilian population in Gaza facilitate safe and secure access for humanitarian aid to the Palestinians," but it also addressed the rocket and mortar shell attacks.

"[The council] condemns the daily rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli civilians, particularly since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 calls for an immediate cessation of such attacks," the draft stated.

"We had a text that we hoped we could reach a consensus on Friday, but following amendments by Libya today, we concluded we couldn't reach an agreement," said the US representative, adding that it was "imperative for the US not to equate acts of self-defense with rocket attacks."

According to The Jerusalem Post, other council members agreed with U.S. insistence on producing a balanced statement.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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