US defends Israeli attacks on Gaza at UN

2012-11-15 10:02
Susan Rice. (AFP, File)

Susan Rice. (AFP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Arab nations demanded the UN Security Council condemn Israel's deadly attacks on Gaza at an emergency meeting late on Wednesday, but the United States strongly defended Israel's military strikes.

Egypt and other Arab states called for the emergency meeting after Israel staged more than 20 air strikes on the besieged Palestinian territory, killing Hamas military commander Ahmed Jaabari.

The 15-nation council did not condemn either side after the 90 minute meeting. Hardeep Singh Puri, India's UN envoy and Security Council president, said: "All the statements that I heard resonated with one message - that the violence has to stop, there has to be de-escalation."

Arab nations wanted the council "to condemn that barbaric attack" by Israel and "send a strong message to call for a cessation of hostilities", said Sudan's UN envoy Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, chairperson of the Arab bloc at the UN.

The United States strongly defended the actions of its key Middle East ally however.

Highlighting Israel's claim that at least 768 rockets have been fired from Gaza this year, US ambassador Susan Rice told the council: "Israel, like any nation, has the right to defend itself against such vicious attacks.

Peace efforts harmed

"There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organisations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately."

Rice, a frontrunner to become the next US secretary of state, said the rocket attacks were harming efforts to end the Middle East conflict and create a Palestinian state.

"Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause.

"Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination and independence," Rice said.

Britain's UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant also condemned rocket attacks into Israel but called on Israel "to act in a way that de-escalates tensions".

Only the Palestinian and Israeli ambassadors were allowed to address the meeting on top of the council envoys.

Death, destruction, trauma

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour told the council that a child of 11 months, two other children and a pregnant 19-year-old woman were among those dead from the attacks.

Reports said on Thursday morning that 11 people had been killed in the strikes.

"Death, destruction, trauma and terror are being rained upon our people before the eyes of the world," Mansour said.

"The international community must act to bring an end to Israel's illegal policies and practices against the Palestinian people," he added.

Mansour said the attacks were linked to the Palestinian application for observer status at the United Nations, which is due to be voted on by the UN General Assembly on 29 November.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that the military operation could be expanded and the country's UN ambassador Ron Prosor said: "The goal of Israel's operation is clearly defined - to remove a strategic threat to Israeli citizens."

Resolution proposed

He told the council that Israel will not play "Russian roulette with the lives of our citizens".

"Hamas has turned Gaza into a haven and a breeding ground for global terrorist organisations," Prosor declared.

The Palestinian envoy said that if the council could not halt Israel's attacks, the Palestinian Authority would come back and demand a formal condemnation of Israel.

He said this could include proposing a resolution, which the United States would almost certainly veto. The US administration uses its powers as a permanent member of the UN council to block any resolution condemning Israel.

Read more on:    un  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  susan rice  |  israel  |  us  |  palestine  |  middle east peace

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.