U.N. Security Council Calls for End to Gaza Violence; Israel Pounds

The U.N. Security Council called early on Sunday for an immediate halt to all violence in Gaza after a day of Israeli air strikes in response to rocket and mortar fire by Gaza militants against Israel.

“The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern at the escalation of the situation in Gaza and called for an immediate halt to all violence,” said a statement read to reporters by Croatian Ambassador Neven Jurica, president of the council.

Related:
Israeli warplanes pursue Gaza weapons warehouses

Israel Sees Existential Fight: Enemies, Uncertainty All Around

“The members called on the parties to stop immediately all military activities.”

Palestinian medical officials said on Sunday that 271 Palestinians had been killed in 24 hours of Israeli attacks in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Since the operation began, one Israeli had been killed by Palestinian rocket fire.

Diplomats said the Security Council meeting had been convened at the request of Libya, the only Arab country on the council.

The statement, agreed upon after four hours of closed-door council discussions, called on all parties to address “the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza.”

It urged them to take necessary measures, including the opening of border crossings, to ensure Gaza’s people were supplied with food, fuel and medical treatment.

Council members “stressed the need for the restoration of calm in full” to open the way for a Palestinian-Israeli political solution.

–Reuters

Related from CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/me
ast/12/28/gaza.israel.strikes/index.html

*********************

Israeli military officials said the airstrikes, which went on into the night, were the start of what could be days or even months of an effort to force Hamas to end its rocket barrages into southern Israel. The operation could include ground forces, a senior Israeli security official said.

Palestinian officials said that most of the dead were security officers for Hamas, including two senior commanders, and that at least 600 people had been wounded in the attacks.

After the initial airstrikes, dozens of rockets were fired into southern Israel, where an emergency was declared. Thousands of Israelis hurried into bomb shelters amid the hail of rockets, including some longer-range models that reached farther north than ever before. One man was killed in the town of Netivot, the first death from rocket fire since it intensified a week ago, and four were wounded.

A number of governments and international officials, including leaders of Russia, Egypt, the European Union and the United Nations, condemned Israel’s use of force and also called on Hamas to end the rocket fire. But in strong terms, the Bush administration blamed Hamas for the violence and demanded that it stop firing rockets.

Read the rest from The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/2
8/world/middleeast/28mideast.html?hp

5 Responses to “U.N. Security Council Calls for End to Gaza Violence; Israel Pounds”

  1. mike paterno Says:

    oh please…it’s clear that the unprecedented assault is that of the Hamas who have been raining down rockets on israeli towns for the last 8+ years. Can you imagine how we’d respond if Mexico or canada rained down rockets on us for that long – or try for 1 day?! The common answer is “well the Gazan population is a hostage of the Hamas.” Again nonsense – weren’t we (and Israel in its stupidity) the one who sponsored democratic elections so that the palestinians could say who they really wanted to lead them? And didn’t the Hamas democratically win just under %70 of the vote in those elections? This isn’t about a forced takeover by a people holding the palestinians hostage! This is the democratically elected palestinan hamas government carrying out the will of the people. This terorism against Israel is the centerpiece of the Hamas political platform and so it’s not like the voters were suprised by all the rocket fire into israel or the international condemnation.

    I’d suggest that anyone criticizing Israel go spend one week in any of the towns bombarded daily by rocketfire (which I did recently as a volunteer) and then see how quickly they urge “patience” and “talk” or criticize Israel’s actions.

  2. Jon Skillings Says:

    Hamas brought this action upon itself. Civilians would not be getting killed were it not for Hamas’ practice of locating it’s military sites in residential neighborhoods. This is a typical UN reaction; it’s okay for Hamas to fire dozens of rockets into Isreal without the UN saying a word but when Isreal defends itself the UN ties itself into knots. I say to Isreal retake Gaza, wipe out Hamas and then go after Iran which has been financing Hamas for years.

  3. Aviv Says:

    Mike is right!
    The Hamas is responsible for what’s happening in Gaza. Even the Egyptian (their arab neighbors) are saying it out loud (check their spokesmen if you don’t believe this). And even the palestinian people in Gaza knows it but they afraid to stand out to the Hamas.
    Israel never-ever had any reason to attack Palesinians, Only to defend itself. All history records will support this fact

  4. Stav Says:

    On and off, for the past 10 years the Israeli neighbors of the Gaza strip have suffered from daily attacks of the simplest most absurd, primitive and harmful artillery – directed at civilians. Last week the Palestinians decided to break the silence and attack innocent people at their homes. WE CANNOT LET THAT GO. As Israelis we have given the Palestinian people more then one opportunity for peace in the Middle East. They are the ones that reject it every single time. I never wish to see anyone on either side, die or lose their house and family. It’s time for the Palestinian people to rise above the hatred and the damage that was done to them – and make PEACE

  5. Robert Says:

    Doomed. We’re all doomed.

    Hamas? Hizbollah? Al Queda? Look, call ’em what you want but they’re all islamists and the islamists live to die.
    And their philosophy, their culture, their religion, the ease at which they suicidally throw away their lives, and the fact that there are many millions of them, makes them an enemy which is unconquerable unless you commit mass murder upon them on a previously unheard of scale.

    Unfortunately, right now and without a doubt, there are many of them all throughout the world who are actively planning and working toward the complete and total destruction of the west.

    I wasn’t surprised when the United States went into Iraq after Afghanistan, but, I didn’t see it as everyone else apparently did! I saw it as a bold move by the Bush Administration to militarily surround Iran.
    It was obvious to me that Iran was the ultimate goal in going into Iraq.
    One need only to step back and look at the larger picture to see that Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk and then Iran would’ve been very quickly next on the agenda. There were much larger unspoken aspirations to achieve in the “War on terror” that never came to fruition due to the Iraq quagmire. The successful occupation of both Iraq and Afghanistan had to be essential in the minds of military planners in order to be able to launch an offensive against Iran. (Just look at a map and pretend you’re a General.)
    There is much in the way of military and foreign policy goals that we are never made aware of, ..but, by using some common-sense and, like I said previously, by taking a look at the larger picture, it is clearly obvious in hindsight that Iraq and Afghanistan were supposed to be merely stepping-stones to Iran and beyond.
    So, in that regard, these wars we have been fighting have far and beyond been failures of a much grander scale than is being reported.

    It boggles my mind that Iran, a nation which is fervently pursuing nuclear programs which threaten the entire world and is led by extreme radicals who would, from all appearances, eagerly join the ranks of the already far too many suicide “martyrs”, has yet to be attacked or been drawn into the conflict in a major way by now.
    And because of this I cannot help but feel the situation as a whole is even worse than I imagined, ..and we are all doomed.

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