Arab ministers draft UN resolution on Israeli aggression in Gaza

The United States on Saturday blocked an effort by Libya, the sole Arab member of the Security Council, to persuade members to renew their call for an immediate ceasefire following Israel's ground invasion.

Arab ministers draft UN resolution on Israeli aggression in Gaza
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said on Monday Arab countries were drafting a U.N. Security Council council resolution demanding an immediate end to Israeli aggression in Gaza.

He said Arab foreign ministers were meeting at the United Nations on Monday to discuss the draft as Israeli forces continued to pound Gaza.

Malki told reporters that Arab League chief Amr Moussa along with ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states would discuss the crisis with representatives of the five permanent Security Council members and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"Then we will continue our deliberations in order to prepare for a draft resolution that hopefully will be ... passed in the Security Council tomorrow (Tuesday)," Malki said.

He said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would be first to address Tuesday's council meeting. Foreign ministers of some of the 15 council members might also attend, diplomats said.

Malki said the Arabs wanted "a resolution that will permit first of all ending the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza and calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, lifting the siege, opening the crossings between Gaza and Israel, and also between Gaza and Egypt."

They wanted the resolution to call for international observers to be stationed at the border crossings with Gaza as well as an "international force" deployed to protect the 1.5 million Palestinians, most of whom depend on humanitarian aid from Israel offensive.

Observers

Israel has already rejected European proposals to place outside observers in the Gaza Strip.

A U.N. spokeswoman said Ban Ki-moon told U.N. staff on Monday the situation in Gaza has worsened dramatically over the last 48 hours. Ban also pressed Israel to allow sufficient humanitarian aid into Gaza to ease the crisis.

Spokeswoman Michele Montas said Israeli leaders had not responded to Ban's ceasefire calls.

The council issued a non-binding statement last month calling for an end to Israel violence. Diplomats say getting a legally-binding resolution passed will not be easy.

The United States on Saturday blocked an effort by Libya, the sole Arab member of the Security Council, to persuade members to renew their call for an immediate ceasefire following Israel's ground invasion.

Arab states last week circulated a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza but Western council members ignored Palestine plight. The council has taken no action on that draft.


Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2009, 12:38
Add Comment