U.N. Security Council Stops Short of Condemning Israel for Gaza Massacre
13-14 May 09 | PTV
The U.N. Security Council has “expressed concern” about Israel’s attacks on U.N. buildings during the recent Gaza War, but stopped short of condemning the regime.
“The members of the Council expressed their concern about the findings of the report” commissioned by U.N. Chief, Ban Ki-moon, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters after a closed-door meeting on the issue.
The remarks were made after a U.N. report delivered to the Security Council blamed Israel for six serious attacks on the organization’s buildings during the war.
Churkin added that the 15-member world body expressed “general interest in being kept abreast of the progress of the matter as the Secretary-General deems appropriate.”
The report slammed Israel for failing to protect U.N. buildings and the civilians inside them, and recommended that the United Nations seek damages.
Last week, U.N. Chief, Ban Ki-moon, said that he planned “to seek reparations for damages incurred by the U.N.” but would not press for a further enquiry.
The report was drawn up by an independent panel set up to investigate nine cases in which UN buildings in Gaza were damaged by bombardments or arms fire during the three-week Israeli offensive in Gaza.
Libya, the only Arab nation on the Security Council, has drafted a resolution in which the Council would condemn the Israeli war.
However, Churkin said it appeared that Libya had decided not to put the draft text to a vote.
Diplomats said the draft had no chance of passing, since the United States, Britain and France — all veto-wielding council members — would have struck it down.
Israel launched a massive military operation on Gaza at the end of 2008 allegedly to prevent Hamas from firing rockets at southern Israeli communities.
The offensive claimed more than 1,300 Palestinian lives, injured over 5,000 and left around 60,000 others homeless.
The U.N. Security Council has rejected an appeal made by Libya to issue a resolution against Israel over its war crimes in the Gaza Strip.
Libya along with a number of Arab countries made an appeal to the U.N. Security Council after a recently published U.N. report blamed Israel for six major crimes committed during the Gaza war.
Libya demanded an emergency meeting to discuss Israeli crimes including “death, injuries and damage” which were “caused by military actions, using munitions launched or dropped from the air or fired from the ground, by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF),” according to the U.N. report.
The members of the Council, however, rejected the request and only “expressed their concern about the findings of the report” commissioned by U.N. Chief, Ban Ki-moon, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a closed-door council meeting on Wednesday.
Churkin said Libya was now unlikely to push for a vote on its draft resolution, which would condemn “the direct and intentional Israeli military strikes against United Nations premises.”
Israel attacked several U.N. schools where hundreds of civilians took refuge during the all-out war launched against the coastal sliver in December. The 22-day war left at least 1,350 people killed in Gaza.
- Gaza and the Moment of Truth (13 May 09)
- U.N. Report on Israel’s War Crimes (9 May 09)
- Ban Ki-moon’s Moral Failure (7 May 09)
- UN: Israel Behind Alarming Situation in Gaza, 60,000 Palestinians at Risk in Jerusalem (1 May 09)