Sunday, January 4, 2009

UNSC Gives Israel More Time to "Weaken Hamas" in Gaza


"04/01/2009 And as it was expected, the same scenario is being renewed whenever Israel is involved in an aggression against any Arab country.......

Yet, the UN Security Council late Saturday failed to agree on a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip after the United States argued a return to the situation that existed prior to Israel's ground invasion was unacceptable. After nearly four hours of closed-door consultations, members of the council emerged without reaching an agreement that would have asked Israel to end the hostilities that have claimed the lives of at least 460 Palestinians. The meeting was the Security Council's third since the aggression erupted on December 27......

A draft statement submitted earlier for the council's consideration by Libya on behalf of the Arab League had expressed "serious concern" about the ground invasion and called on the parties "to observe an immediate ceasefire and for its full respect." US deputy envoy Alejandro Wolff, talking to reporters after the consultations, said Washington believed it was important that the region "not return to the status quo" that had allowed Hamas to fire rockets into occupied territories. As Israel's closest ally, Washington has regularly vetoed Security Council resolutions it sees as too critical of the Zionist entity.

Libyan Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi said the impasse had produced "a sad day for the Security Council" as it failed once again "to voice its outrage at the escalation of the situation in Gaza." .......

UN General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto of Nicaragua called the Israeli incursion "a monstrosity." "And once again, the world is watching in dismay the dysfunctionality of the Security Council," D'Escoto argued.

In a report published Sunday by Israeli daily Haaretz, it said that the international community, headed by the U.S. and Egypt, is giving Israel time to carry out the ground offensive in Gaza, so it will severely damage Hamas' regime. The rationale behind such a move is that a weakened Hamas would improve the chances of achieving a stable agreement in Gaza once the fighting subsides.

And so there is a degree of foot-dragging in the diplomatic efforts to reach a cease-fire. The most visible sign of this was the decision to postpone the United Nations Security Council discussion on Gaza planned for Monday. France postponed the discussion to Wednesday, to ensure that it would be held after French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to the region on Monday. According to Haaretz report, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had requested that the discussion be postponed during her visit to France on Thursday. It added, “In its efforts to formulate a draft for an agreement with Hamas in the wake of “Operation Cast Lead”, the designated team of Israeli officials is aiming to bring about the restoration of the cease-fire with Hamas, which expired on December 19, in addition to steps to curb Hamas' arms-smuggling through the border with Egypt.”

The officials, all of them from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, the defense establishment and the Foreign Ministry, are not seeking to introduce international enforcement bodies, but rather the introduction of an upgraded border control system on the Egyptian side of the border. The U.S. administration supports such a move, and is expected to assist the Egyptians in stepping up their efforts to control the border.

According to sources in the U.S., President George W. Bush has intercepted an initiative by his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice and her British counterpart, Secretary of State David Miliband, to formulate a cease-fire draft. One source said Bush instructed the State Department to refrain from action in the matter. To date, the U.S. has refrained from sending any envoys or delegates to the region. According to officials, the U.S. and Israel are cooperating diplomatically on the issue.

Egypt's unexpected support for Israel in its aggression against Gaza has, according to Israeli diplomats, been a pleasant surprise for Tel Aviv."

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