Saturday, January 10, 2009

Israel, Hamas reject Security Council resolution

By sudhan

PA sees missed opportunity,

Jan 9, 2009

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Both Israel and Hamas rejected on Friday a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate halt to hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri argued that the resolution is biased toward Israel and against the Palestinians, and is intended to exact a political price from Hamas.

He said the resolution does not fulfill Hamas’ conditions, which are “to end the Israeli aggression immediately, lift the blockade and Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.”

The Hamas-run de facto government in Gaza has no voice at the United Nations. The Palestinian Authority mission to the UN represents the rival Fatah-led government in the West Bank.

In rejecting the resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “The State of Israel has never agreed that any outside body would determine its right to defend the security of its citizens.”

He also called the document “not practical,” blaming Palestinian organizations for continuing to fire projectiles and rockets into Israel. He said the Israeli military “will continue operations.”

The resolution “stresses the urgency of and calls for an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.” It also called for an end to the smuggling routes from Egypt into Gaza, the reopening of Gaza’s borders, and “unimpeded provision” of humanitarian aid.

Fourteen of 15 member states voted for the resolution, which was submitted by the UK. The United States abstained.

PA: “Best we could get”

An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nimir Hammad said that the PA and Arab states had made a massive effort to pass the ceasefire resolution. Abbas travelled to New York to press the Security Council for a ceasefire.

Hammad said the text of the resolution was the best the Palestinian diplomats could get. “I think that it is not the right time for any side or party to reject to the resolution if the objective is to stop the bloodshed in Gaza.”

“We want to stop the Israeli attacks. There is an Egyptian –French initiaive included in [the resolution] and a speedy mechanism to implement it,” he added.

He also accused Israeli politicians of waging war for electoral gains: “It is well known that the aim of the Israeli attacks is for election gains, they count the bodies for the number of seats in the Knesset.”

Hamad concluded by affirming that “We are ready for a Palestinian-Palestinian dialogue. We hope that after the end of the attacks on Gaza we will start the dialogue based on the Egyptian invitation and proposal.”

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