The United States thwarted an effort by Libya on Saturday to persuade the U.N. Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after Israel launched a ground invasion, diplomats said.Yesterday:
But diplomats said the United States refused to back the Libyan-drafted text and killed the initiative, since council statements must be passed unanimously. Later the United States refused to back a watered-down call for a truce, the diplomats said.
The United States, one of five permanent Security Council members, insists that any statement or resolution state that the Palestinian militant group Hamas is a terrorist organization that seized power in Gaza from the legitimate Palestinian Authority.
WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to New York on Tuesday to discuss with key powers how to get a ceasefire in Gaza that the United States says must be durable, sustainable and indefinite.The reason:
Rice was to meet foreign ministers gathering for a United Nations Security Council meetings on ending the Israeli offensive launched last month with the stated aim of stopping Palestinian rocket attacks on civilians in southern Israel.
More than 600 Palestinians have been killed and at least 2,700 wounded since Israel began its campaign in Gaza, which is controlled by the Hamas Islamist group. Nine Israelis, including three civilians hit by rocket fire, have died.
"We would like an immediate ceasefire, absolutely, an immediate ceasefire that is durable and sustainable and non-time-limited," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters at his daily briefing.
The UN News Service reports:
More than 30 people have been killed in two separate Israeli strikes on clearly-marked United Nations schools where civilians were seeking refuge from the ongoing violence in Gaza, an official with the world body said today.
John Ging, Director of Operations in Gaza of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said that 30 people died and 55 others were injured when three Israeli artillery shells landed at the perimeter of a UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp.
“Those who were in the school were all families seeking refuge,” Mr. Ging said of the school that was hit in Jabaliya, which usually serves as a girls’ preparatory school.
Another artillery shell struck an empty boys’ school in Jabaliya, he said.
In a separate attack last night, three Palestinians, who had sought refuge in a small co-educational UN school in Gaza City, died when an Israeli missile hit the building’s toilet facilities.
He underscored that all UN schools in Gaza are clearly marked, flying the UN flag, and that the Organization has provided the GPS coordinates of all of its installations in the area to Israel.
Raw footage from the BBC. Warning: It's graphic.
You know it's horrific when even the Bush regime can't stomach what Israel's doing.
Addendum: Israel calls a recess.
Israel ordered a pause in its Gaza offensive for three hours Wednesday to allow food and fuel to reach besieged Palestinians, and the country's leaders debated whether to accept an international cease-fire plan or expand the assault against Hamas.
With criticism rising of the operation's spiraling civilian death toll and Gazans increasingly suffering the effects of nonstop airstrikes and shelling, Israel's military said opened "humanitarian corridors" to allow aid supplies to reach Palestinians.
Outrage over an Israeli strike Tuesday near a U.N. school continued, with the U.N. agency responsible for the building demanding an "impartial investigation" into the attack. Gaza health officials put the death toll from the strike at 39, while the U.N. said 40 were killed.
Israel said its forces fired at militants who launched mortars from that location.
About 300 of the more than 670 Palestinians killed so far are civilians, according to Palestinian and U.N. figures. Of those killed, at least 130 are children age 16 and under, says the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which tracks casualties.
More than 500 aid trucks have been shipped into Gaza since operations began. But even when aid crosses into Gaza military operations have prevented officials from distributing it, leading to food shortages in some areas.
A World Bank statement Wednesday said there are growing signs of a severe public health crisis in Gaza because of a shortage of drinking water and an escalating failure of the sewage system.
I'm sure Mike will gleefully proclaim that militants firing a few mortars from the streets outside a school justifies killing forty people, including children. And Israel will now pat itself on the back and tell us all how wonderful and humanitarian they are for letting up on the white phosphorus and cluster bombs long enough to bring in a few more aid trucks, which have exactly three hours to try to feed starving and sick civilians before the bombing resumes. Hamas, of course, has no compunction about using civilians as cover, because that's how insurrections are won.
Fuck them all.