Israel argues right to battle Gaza terror at UN

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

The UN Security Council met in emergency session on Tuesday at the behest of Arab member states to hammer out a resolution condemning Israel for imposing a blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in response to ongoing terrorist rocket attacks on southern Israel.

In addition to pinpoint retaliatory military strikes, Israel has for the past month responded to incessant Palestinian artillery attacks on southern Israel's civilian population by implementing a limited embargo on the entry of industrial fuel into Gaza.

The international community erupted in harsh criticism of the Jewish state when the fuel sanctions resulted in Gaza's largest electrical power plant shutting down at the weekend. Explanations by Israeli officials that the Israel Electric Company was continuing to supply some 75 percent of Gaza's electrical needs as it always had were all but ignored.

But Jerusalem remained confident that the efforts at the UN to further demonize Israel would come to naught after Washington vowed not to support any resolution singled out Israel's defensive measures while failing to take into account the Palestinian terrorism that prompted them.

Speaking to the council, US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said that Hamas "must bear responsibility for the current situation" in Gaza.

An official with the Israeli Mission to the UN tried to explain to the council that the situation in Gaza would immediately and significantly improve if only Palestinian forces based there would stop firing rockets and mortar shells at communities in southern Israel.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official quoted by The Jerusalem Post expressed frustration that the UN is quick to take action every time Israel is allegedly harming the Palestinians, but on a daily basis turns a blind eye to Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians.

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