< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: U.S. Vetoes Security Council Resolution Assailing Israel for Attacks

Saturday, November 11, 2006

U.S. Vetoes Security Council Resolution Assailing Israel for Attacks

From the New York Times:

The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution on Saturday that condemned Israel for its military actions in Gaza and called for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area.The United States ambassador, John R. Bolton, told the Council that the resolution "does not display an even-handed characterization of the recent events in Gaza, nor does it advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace."The resolution, introduced by Qatar, the Arab representative on the Council, had been amended during two days of negotiations to meet objections that it was not balanced. But Mr. Bolton said it remained "in many places biased against Israel and politically motivated."In the vote, 4 countries abstained - Britain, Denmark, Japan and Slovakia - and 10 were in favor - Argentina, China, Congo, France, Ghana, Greece, Peru, Russia, Qatar and Tanzania.An original draft had made no mention of Palestinian rocket strikes into Israel and accused Israel of conducting a "massacre" of civilians in its attack at Beit Hanun on Wednesday that killed 18 civilians. New language was inserted condemning the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel and calling upon the Palestinian Authority to take "immediate and sustained action'' to end the rocket fire. But while the resolution named Israel as liable for the attacks on Gaza, it was silent on who or what group was responsible for the attacks on Israel.In other changes, a reference to "indiscriminate" violence became "disproportionate" violence, and the words "military assault," "aggression" and "massacre" were dropped in favor of the general phrase "military operations."Another provision had proposed that a new United Nations observer force be sent into the area to monitor a cease-fire, but it was substituted with language suggested by France that called for the creation of "an international mechanism for the protection of civilians."

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