Security Council calls for cease-fire in Gaza


UNITED NATIONS (CNN) — The U.N. Security Council late Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/08/gaza.security.council/index.html

A photo provided by the Israel Defense Forces shows Israeli paratroopers in Gaza on Thursday.

Fourteen of the council’s 15 members voted in favor of the resolution, with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice abstaining from the vote on behalf of the United States.

The resolution expresses “grave concern” about the growing humanitarian crisis and heavy civilian casualties in Gaza, as well as civilian deaths in Israel from Hamas rocket fire.

Roughly 765 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, including 10 soldiers, have been killed since Israel began its military assault on Gaza on December 27.

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.”

A resolution from the council, particularly one that passes with such large support, can put international pressure on parties involved in a conflict. But they are in no way binding, and many in the past have been ignored by warring factions.

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

Rice applauded the resolution’s goals, but said the United States prefers to wait for results of ongoing, Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo, Egypt, with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Video Watch U.N. secretary-general say he is heartened and relieved after vote »

She said the United States supported the text, goals and objectives of the resolution, but that the United States feels it’s important to see the terms of any cease-fire hammered out in Egypt.

The resolution welcomes efforts by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to broker a cease-fire. It calls for opening corridors to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza — where food, water, electricity and medicine shortages have worsened already poor conditions since Israel’s offensive in Gaza began.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, told the Security Council that Hamas rocket attacks “left us with no choice.”

“The responsibility for the current hostilities lies squarely on Hamas,” she said. “The international community must focus its efforts on the Hamas activity and make sure that the terrorist activity can never be legitimate.” Video Watch Shalev say the responsibility lies on Hamas »

The Israeli military says its operation is aimed at halting the firing of rockets into southern Israel by Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007.

Wrangling over the resolution centered on wording. Arab countries generally pushed for language demanding Israel cease its attacks, while Western diplomats wanted more neutral language.

“Security for the people of Gaza, too. Not security for Israel alone,” Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, of Egypt, said before the vote as reporters were asking diplomats about the resolution.

The 15-member Security Council is tasked by the United Nations with establishing and maintaining peace around the globe. It has the power to create peacekeeping operations, impose sanctions and authorize military action.

The United States, Russia, China, France and Great Britain are the five permanent members, with the other 10 elected by the U.N. assembly to two-year terms. Any one of the permanent members can veto

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5 thoughts on “Security Council calls for cease-fire in Gaza

  1. This is the face of the results of Islamic terrorism. Hamas has brought this on the palestinian peoples. Their lot, having thrown in with the terrorists are reaping their just deserved. Too bad women and children are being hurt, but they are only future terrorists in the making thanks to the brainwashing the’ll get from their handlers. That the Israelis are the instrument for that return of Karma is insignificant. Live by the sword, die by the sword. The new world threat is islamic extremism and terrorism. This threat must be dealt with once and for all. Israel needs to make an effort to eliminate it Gaza.

  2. Ironically,the Palestinians being attacked and killed in Gaza are refugees from the lands stolen from them in 1948 by the murderous Israelis.

    14 out of 15 UN members voted for the resolution instructing the Israelis to halt this murderous aggression. Has America no shame in giving its backing to these nazis?

  3. What cowards are groups like Hamas and Hezbolah. They aimlessly launch rockets and then run and hide behind their own children and families. Bringing war to their families. Then cry for help like Israel is the enemy when they are the ones who have been launching rockets and terrorizing innocent people for YEARS. Despite several warnings to “stop or be punished” they continue to launch the rockets.
    Well, you’re getting what was due to you years ago. Stop launching rockets and Israel will stop attacking. That’s all they’re asking for. Israel even tried to set up a cease-fire to allow aid to come in…what does Hamas do? Launch rockets at Israel 15 MINUTES into the cease fire. Israel has warned and warned and warned Hamas…they didn’t listen. They can’t complain now.

  4. In response to KIKI B. Where were all your opinions when innocent Israeli civilians were being targeted. You are simply an antisemite. If you know any history at all, which clearly you don’t, you would know that the land never belonged to the Palestinians. Heck , why don’t we just give the US back to the British, since you are so generous.
    It’s funny how the world stood still when 6 million jews were killed during WWII. Everytime it comes to Israel defending themselves from these animals the whole world has an opinion. Hamas is a terrorist organization that hides between women and children and murders their own people. They have no value for human life. The same people that you sympathize with are the same people that danced in the streets the day 9-11 happened when 3,000 people were killed.You should be kissing Israel’s feet and thanking them everyday.

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