Archive for the ‘security council’ Category

Bush Personally Redirected SecState Rice To Support Israel

January 12, 2009

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday referred to the US decision to abstain from Thursday’s UN Security Council  resolution vote calling for a Gaza cease-fire, saying U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “was left quite embarrassed, not voting for a resolution that she herself had prepared and organized.”

Jerusalem Post

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends the weekly cabinet ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem January 11, 2009.(David Silverman/Pool/Reuters)

Speaking in Ashkelon, Olmert took pride in demonstrating his close relations with US President George W. Bush and his great support for Israel when he recounted how he urged the US president to intervene.

“Early Friday morning [Israel time], [we knew that] the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t want her to vote for it. Suddenly, within ten minutes it became clear that, the vote was going ahead.

“I [called the White House and] said, ‘Get President Bush on the phone.’ They tried, and told me he was in the middle of a lecture in Philadelphia. I said, ‘I’m not interested, I need to speak to him now.’ He got down from the podium, went out and took the phone call. I told him that the US cannot possibly vote in favor of this resolution. He immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote for it. She was left quite embarrassed.”

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UN Passes Cease Fire Resolution; Hamas, Israel Intensify Attacks; Day 14

January 9, 2009

The U.N. Security Council late Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

But Israel intensivied its air attacks to more than 50 on day 14, Friday.  The average number of air attacks upon Gaza from Israel has been between 30 and 40.

“We are all very conscious that peace is made on the ground while resolutions are written in the United Nations,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said. “Our job here is to support the efforts for peace on the ground and to help turn the good words on paper into changes on the ground that are desperately needed.”

At 0900 GMT Friday, more than 12 hours after the U.N. action, Israeli newspapers were reporting that Hamas rockets were still landing in Israel.

“Somebody doesn’t understand something,” said an Israeli.

Photo: AP

A Hamas spokesman said the Islamic militant group “is not interested” in the cease-fire because it was not consulted and the resolution did not meet its minimum demands.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel would continue to act in the best interest of Israel.

The Security Council overcame intense divisions and overwhelmingly approved the resolution urging an immediate and durable Gaza cease-fire.

The U.S. abstained.

An Israeli army tank takes position on a hill at the border ...

The U.S. and Arab nations worked out the deal but Israel and Hamas have to stop the fighting on their own.

The resolution “stresses the urgency of, and calls for, an immediate, durable, and fully respected cease-fire which will lead to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

The vote was 14-0, with the United States abstaining. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. “fully supports” the resolution but abstained “to see the outcomes of the Egyptian mediation” with Israel and Hamas, also aimed at achieving a cease-fire.

Early Friday in Gaza, violence continued unabated….

There was no immediate reaction from Israeli officials to the vote, but Israel has opposed the idea of a binding resolution. Israel’s political security cabinet was to meet Friday to determine whether to pursue the ground offensive or accept a truce.

For its part, Gaza’s Hamas rulers did not recognize the resolution as it had not been consulted on it, said a spokesman for the Islamist group.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Reuters said:

Israel pushed ahead with its offensive in the Gaza Strip on Friday, ignoring a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the 14-day-old conflict.

Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on the outskirts of the city of Gaza, residents said. Elsewhere, Palestinian medics said tanks shelled a house in Beit Lahiya in the north of the Gaza Strip, killing six Palestinians from the same family.




Associated Press:

Israel Fears Binding Resolution:
Gaza: Israel Worries About United Nations Binding Resolution

Why do we have the UN?

Gaza: Israel Worries About United Nations Binding Resolution

January 8, 2009

Senior Western and Arab diplomats continued a three-day-long push Thursday for a UN Security Council resolution  on Gaza, even as Israeli officials said they were leery of any action that would bind them but not Hamas.

Progress appeared slow, with Arab leaders and members of the American, British and French delegations shuttling back and forth among conference rooms  at UN headquarters in New York without stopping to speak with gathered reporters.

Jerusalem Post

A copy of the draft resolution circulated Thursday afternoon included language calling for an “immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire” and supporting the efforts by the Egyptians to broker a deal with Hamas. The British proposal also called for “arrangements and guarantees” to prevent illicit trafficking of arms into Gaza and to ensure the re-opening of crossings on the basis of the 2005 agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Arab negotiators were pushing for the addition of language calling for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and a lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, both key sticking points.

Gaza: UN Passes Cease Fire Resolution; Now What as Day 14 Sees Action?

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Arab Nations Enraged At U.S. On Gaza, Palestinian Deaths

January 4, 2009

“It’s clearly the Americans, it doesn’t require genius,” he said, adding that the US had blocked a resolution because “the Israelis still need some time to finish their operations.”


Israel’s ground offensive in the Gaza Strip was roundly condemned across the Middle East on Sunday, with Egypt also accusing the UN Security Council of failing to act quickly to resolve the crisis.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Israel’s incursion into the impoverished territory on Saturday night came in “brazen defiance” of international calls to end the fighting.

“The Security Council‘s silence and its failure to take a decision to stop Israel’s aggression since it began was interpreted by Israel as a green light,” he said in a statement as Israeli forces rumbled into Gaza.

By Samer al-Atrush, AFP

Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans during a demonstration ... 

Above: Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Israel’s ground offensive in the Gaza Strip was roundly condemned across the Middle East, with Egypt also accusing the UN Security Council of failing to act quickly to resolve the crisis.(AFP/Abbas Momani)

A Jordanian government spokesman said the invasion “will have dangerous repercussions and negative effects on the region’s security and stability” and called for an immediate ceasefire, state-news agency Petra reported.

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Gaza campaign exposes Middle East policy vacuum

January 3, 2009

Israel’s week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip is a violent sequel to a drive led by the United States, with much European and Arab support, to punish Hamas for resisting a largely discredited Middle East “peace process.”

The campaign is unlikely to eradicate Hamas or make it any easier for the next U.S. president, Barack Obama, to break the cycle of conflict and rescue swiftly receding prospects for a solution based on creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

By Alistair Lyon, Special Correspondent

Israel is consolidating its grip on the West Bank, while keeping Gazans bottled up. Splits between Palestinian factions have made sporadic U.S.-sponsored talks between the Israelis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas notional at best.

Outgoing President George W. Bush had set a goal of reaching a peace deal by the end of 2008 after belatedly relaunching Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Annapolis in November 2007.

Faced instead with a new spasm of violence, the White House has effectively encouraged the Israelis to pursue what they portray as an attempt to quell rocket attacks on their civilians and “change the reality” in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The European Union, lacking the energy and unity to act in the diplomatic vacuum left by Washington, has merely appealed for a ceasefire — and promised a bit more humanitarian relief to the 1.5 million people locked into the coastal strip by a punitive Israeli blockade and a sealed Egyptian border.

The Arab League, caught between public dismay at the Gaza bloodshed and the hostility of many member states to Hamas and other Islamist groups allied to Iran, has agreed only to ask the U.N. Security Council to compel Israel to halt its onslaught.

But the council is toothless without the United States and other veto powers in accord. It has yet to adopt a resolution.

 Gaza, Israel Could Highlight Stark Obama, Bush Differences

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Gaza: Israel Preparing for Endgame?

January 1, 2009

Growing signs are emerging that israel is trying to shape a way to end the Gaza fighting and achieve its goals.

A ground action of Israeli troops and tanks into gaza still seems possible.  “The infantry, the artillery and other forces are ready. They’re around the Gaza Strip, waiting for any calls to go inside,” Military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said.

Israel Tanks AP

But Israel is also allowing humanitarian supplies into Gaza and has raised the notion of international observers to monitor the post violence situation inside Gaza.

The Jerusalem Post reported that on Wednesday, 93 trucks carrying food, medicine and medical supplies donated by Jordan and international organizations were transferred into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing in the southern part of the Strip.

On Tuesday, 93 trucks were also allowed into Gaza and another 90 are expected to enter Gaza on Thursday. A plane from Qatar will also land in Israel on Thursday carrying supplies that will be transferred to Gaza.

“We have no interest in a long war. We do not desire a broad campaign. We want quiet,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a meeting of mayors of southern Israeli cities Thursday. “We don’t want to display our might, but we will employ it if necessary.”

To pave the way for a post-hostilities situation, Israel isn’t seeking a peacekeeping force, but a monitoring body that would judge compliance on both sides.

After the  2006 war with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, Israel accepted peacekeepers but was never satisfied with that arrangement.

“We are asking for a cease-fire and an international presence to monitor Israel’s commitment to it,” Israeli government aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh said.
Several organizations have said Hamas is almost ready for a cease fire.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, whose office in Gaza was struck overnight, said Israel needed to “stop attacking and killing our children, women and men.”

“The aggression must stop, the crossings must open and the blockade must be lifted and then we can talk about all other issues,” he said in televised comments Wednesday. “Then we can start a national dialogue without any preset conditions.”
John Holmes, the UN’s undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and its emergency relief coordinator said, “It’s hard to exaggerate the degree of constant fear, I think, felt by those in Gaza, in particular, as the attacks continue.”

“And of course, there is stress on the Israeli side too because of the constant threat of rockets,” he said, speaking in a Wednesday briefing at the United Nations.

“This is a very bloody operation, by anybody’s standards, even by the standards of that part of the world,” Holmes said.

Holmes was quoted by CNN.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom


Gaza Day 6, January 1, 2009

China Made Gaza Rockets Used By Hamas

Gaza Day 6, January 1, 2009

January 1, 2009

Here is what we know:

–The United Nations Security Council circulated a draft resolution by Libya on behalf of the 22-member Arab League Wednesday, but the U.S. rejected the plan, saying the U.S. had not seen “any evidence” yet that Hamas was willing to end its rocket attacks on Israel.

–“If we’re going to talk about the truce or a cease-fire, we want to make sure that this is a sustainable,” IDF Brigadier General Mike Herzog, Defense Minister Barak’s chief of staff, told PBS on Wednesday. “We do not want to go back to a situation where our towns, and villages, and our citizens are being fired [at] daily.”

–Saudi Arabia and the Arab League chief on Wednesday blamed the divisions between Fatah and Hamas for Israel’s attacks in Gaza, and urged them to unite to help end the fighting at an urgent Arab League meeting. 

–On the ground, Israeli troops and tanks were observed moving closer to Gaza.  A ground attack is “imminent” accoding to sources in the IDF.  The Israel Defense Forces recommended a major, but relatively short-term, ground offensive in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, as military preparations continued on the border. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff of the  Haaretz Newspaper said the Israeli army was given the green light to forge ahead with Operation Cast Lead, which enters its sixth day Thursday.–Israeli jets bombed the Palestinian parliament building in Gaza early Thursday and navy ships opened fire at Hamas positions along the coastline.

Israeli soldiers prepare their weapons as they deploy on the ... 
Israeli soldiers prepare their weapons as they deploy on the northern border with the Gaza Strip. Hamas vowed to fight “until the last breath” if Israel makes good on threats to send ground troops into Gaza after rejecting calls for a truce and pressing on with its air assault.(AFP/Jack Guez)

–On Wednesday, some 70 rockets were fired from Gaza at the Negev, among them some 10 Katyushas with a range of about 40 kilometers. These landed in Be’er Sheva and around Ashdod.

Yuval Diskin, the head of the Shin Bet security service (Israel’s CIA), told the Israeli Cabinet Wednesday that Hamas leaders were taking shelter in the mosques “on the assumption that Israel will not attack.”  Mosques in Gaza were being hit by Israeli forces on January 1.  Gaza City’s Tel Al-Hawa mosque is now in ruins, with only its minaret remaining upright.  According to the Associted Press, A security official said Israeli intelligence — probably surveillance aircraft — saw missiles being fired outside the mosque and the men who launched them running inside the building. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss intelligence operations.

–The Jerusalem Post reported that Pro-US Arab countries – Egypt, in particular – have come under heavy criticism in widespread street protests, as well as from Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah, for allegedly not doing enough to stop Israel or help Gazans.

“We did not enter this operation in order to end it with the firing still continuing,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a meeting of his security Cabinet on Wednesday, according to a senior government official.

“Hamas broke this cease-fire,” Olmert said. “If the conditions ripen” and if there is a solution “that promises a better security … we will consider it, but we are not there yet,” he said, according to the official.

See a CNN Report:


The Hamas leader, Osama Mazini, said in a statement distributed by the Hamas press office that his fighters were eager for a ground assault. “The people of Gaza are waiting to see the Zionist enemy in Gaza to tear them into pieces of flesh,” said Mazini.

Read a complete AP report from early January 1:


From Robert Burns
The Associated Press

By insisting that Hamas go first in any cease-fire with Israel, the Bush administration is sticking to its support for the Jewish state’s right of self-defense while stopping short of encouraging an Israeli ground assault aimed at fully reoccupying the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The Bush administration on Wednesday asserted its desire for a halt to the fighting but also made clear its view that the first step in any cease-fire will require Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rejects Israel’s right to exist, to agree to stop firing rockets from Gaza into Israel now and in the future.

Read the rest:

China Made Gaza Rockets Used By Hamas

Gaza New Year Ground Offensive Probable; Israeli Troops Moving Foward

December 31, 2008

Israel sent more troops to the Gaza border Wednesday, rapidly moving forward with preparations for a possible ground offensive as the next stage of its military assault on the coastal territory’s Hamas rulers. Israel rebuffed calls by world leaders for a truce, and Hamas was cold to a cease-fire. Instead, both intensified their fire. Israel bombed a mosque that it said was used to store rockets as well as vital smuggling tunnels along the Egyptian border, and the Islamic militants hammered southern Israeli cities with about 60 rockets.

Israeli troops trudged between dozens of tanks in muddy, rain-sodden fields outside of Gaza, assembling equipment, cleaning weapons and scrubbing the insides of tank barrels. Their commanders moved forward with preparations for a ground operation, said an Israeli defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.

By Ibrahim Barzak And Jason Keyser, Associated Press Writers

Israel Tanks 
AP Photo

The U.N. Security Council scheduled emergency consultations Wednesday night to discuss an Arab request for a legally binding and enforceable resolution to ensure an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. Egyptian Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz said he was on instructions from Arab League foreign ministers who met in Cairo.

Diplomatic efforts by U.S., European and Middle Eastern leaders appeared to be having little effect. A French proposal for a 48-hour cease-fire to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza failed to gain traction. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the time was not ripe to consider it. A separate proposal by Turkey and Egypt, two of Israel’s few allies in the Muslim world, also seemed to be attracting little serious study in Israel or Gaza, where Hamas has also dismissed talk of a truce.

With a shrinking number of targets to hit from the air and top Hamas leaders deep in hiding, a ground operation seemed all the more likely. In five days of raids, Israeli warplanes have carried out about 500 sorties against Hamas targets, and helicopters have flown hundreds more combat missions, a senior Israeli military officer said on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

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Israel Sees Existential Fight: Enemies, Uncertainty All Around

December 28, 2008

Perhaps more than at any time since the creation of the State of Israel, Israeli leaders see themselves in an existential fight.

Yesterday a rocket fired by militants in Gaza penetrated deep into Israel — the longest range rocket attack ever.

Ibrahim Barzak and Amy Teibel wrote for the Associated Press that the rocket attack “confirmed security officials’ concerns that militants are capable of putting major [Israeli] cities within rocket range.”

Israel shows “precision strike” video:

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends a weekly cabinet ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem December 21, 2008.REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool (JERUSALEM)

Israel, now, is surrounded by ever more capable weapons and determined foes that want to see the Jewish state collapse.

Hama, Israel both urged to pull back:

Iran poses the most obvious and horrible potential threat to Israel: a nuclear attack from Ahmadinejad who denies the Holocaust and said Israel “should be wiped from the map.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

But Israeli officials see other problems that could become greater once combined.

The terrorists around Israel show no signs of relenting.  And Israel is convinced they are armed, funded and supplied by Iran, Syria and others.

And Israel gains no solace from Russian military supplies going to Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

Israeli leaders are as yet unsure of U.S. support and committment from the new Barack Obama Administration, that seems to want to embrace the U.N. and more internationalism.

Israeli officials have told us that they believe the U.N. is dominated by anti-Israeli forces.

“The U.N. is no friend to Israel.  And any move to help Israel in the Security Council is blocked by China and Russia,” a senior Israeli diplomat told Peace and Freedom.

In short, Israel’s top government leaders see themselves in an existential fight: and that can make for a very determined leadership and a dangerous situation.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Israel Planning First Ever Nation Wide Defense Drill

Iran, Missiles, Nuclear Efforts: China, Russia on One Side; U.S. Israel On the Other

Obama’s First Adversary May Be Israel

 International Atomic Energy Agency: No Friend of Israel, Wrong on Iran

Russia ‘to give’ Lebanon war jets
Israeli cabinet calls up reservists as Gaza strikes continue


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

December 28, 2008

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.

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.


Related from CNN:


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: