US Vetoes Resolution Against
Israeli Incursion In Gaza

By Gerald Nadler, AP
The United States vetoed an Arab-backed UN Security Council resolution calling for a halt to Israeli military operations in Gaza.
Last night's vote in the 15-member Security Council was 11 in favour, one against, and three abstentions by Britain, Germany and Romania.
The US called the resolution "lopsided and unbalanced" but its veto was followed by a chorus of denunciations.
Israel launched the operation six days ago after a Palestinian rocket killed two children in the southern Israeli town of Sderot. The drive into Gaza has left at least 75 Palestinians dead.
The US Ambassador John Danforth cast the veto after British and German efforts to find compromise language failed. He said of the resolution: "It is dangerously disingenuous because of its many material omissions. Because of this lack of balance, because of these omissions, the resolution lacks credibility and deserves a 'no' vote."
Mr Danforth said that while condemning Israeli acts of violence, it did not mention that the Palestinians have fired more than 200 rockets against Israeli towns this year alone. He said: "There's an old saying that silence means consent. The silence here is deafening."
The resolution put the blame on Israel "and absolves terrorists in the Middle East - people who shoot rockets into civilian areas, people who are responsible for killing children."
Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian representative, said that "the council failed to take a stand against the bloodshed ... by the Israeli forces" because of Washington's veto.
He said the veto was the seventh by the Bush administration on the Israeli-Palestinians conflict and the 29th since 1976. He heard much talk about the two Israeli children killed in the rocket attack, but none about a 13-year-old Palestinian girl that he said was riddled with 30 bullets as she walked to school.
Citing the high casualty toll and extensive destruction during the Israeli offensive, Algeria's UN Ambassador Abdallah Baali, the only Arab member of the council, said, "It is a sad day for the Palestinians and it is a sad day for justice."
The resolution would have condemned "the broad military incursion and attacks by the Israeli occupying forces in the area of northern Gaza Strip, including in and around the Jabaliya refugee camp, resulting in extensive human casualties and destruction and exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation."
The defeated draft demanded "the immediate cessation of all military operations in the area of northern Gaza and the withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from that area."
It called for a cessation of violence, adherence to international humanitarian law, and for Israel and the Palestinians to immediately implement the long-stalled "road map" to peace backed by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia.
The Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman defended the Israeli operation, saying Israel has a right to defend its citizens.
"All we are trying to do in this operation is to try to get those missiles out of the range of our cities and out of the bodies of our children. And I think anything we do should be justified because it is the clearest manifestation of self-defence."
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