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Dan Gillerman Photo: Yaron Brener
Dan Gillerman Photo: Yaron Brener
 
UN Assembly. Majority expected Photo: AFP
UN Assembly. Majority expected Photo: AFP
 
Blood in Beit Hanoun Photo: AFP
Blood in Beit Hanoun Photo: AFP
 
 

Gillerman: UN hijacked by evil forces

United Nations General Assembly discusses Arab states' demand to establish 'committee to look into facts' of Beit Hanoun incident. Israel's UN ambassador rejects demand, says session is cynical use, abuse of UN

Yitzhak Benhorin
Latest Update: 11.18.06, 00:22 / Israel News

WASHINGTON – The United Nations General Assembly on Friday evening discussed a proposal to establish a "committee to look into the facts" of the Beit Hanoun incident, in which 19 Palestinians were killed.

 

The proposal was submitted by Arab states, which sought to bypass the United States' veto on a Security Council resolution on the issue. According to estimates, the proposal will be adopted by a large majority.

 

Israel's Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman slammed the proposal, saying that the General Assembly has been hijacked by the evil forces. He added that the session was a cynical use and abuse of the UN.

 

"This bloodshed can stop in one second. If terror stops, there will not be one single victim, Israeli or Palestinian. End the violence, and Israel never again needs not engage in self-defense," the ambassador said.

 

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Gillerman warned: "I caution everyone who will support this resolution. By doing so, you will be an accomplice to terror. The blood of more innocents will be on your hands.

 

"I urge all of you to ask yourself, if your country was subject to this brutal and vicious terror, what would you do?"

 

The Israeli ambassador then turned to the French representative and asked, "If France was shelled from across the border, what would the French do? Would the French government send flowers to their attackers?"

 

"Well, by voting for this resolution you will be sending flowers to the terrorists, flowers which tomorrow will be laid on the grave of the next Israeli victim," he added. 

 

Gillerman pointed an accusing finger at Qatar, saying that is pushed for an urgent meeting of the Assembly on the weekend due to preliminary knowledge it had on a Palestinian "mega terror attack" planned to be carried out in Israel.

 

According to the ambassador, Qatar's representatives acted with haste so that an attack against Israel would not curb their proposal, which calls on the UN to condemn Israel.

 

Palestinian UN Observer Riyad Mansour said during the discussion that this was 31st time the US vetoed decisions related to the Palestinians.

 

The repeated use of a veto send an erroneous message to Israel and it continues to commit crimes, he charged. The Palestinian observer accused Israel of committing "war crimes" and carrying out the "Beit Hanoun massacre."

 

Europeans soften proposal's wording

The wording of the proposal was softened in the past 24 hours in order to allow some European countries to join the automatic majority of the Arab, Muslim and third would countries.

 

Some European countries, however, announced that they would abstain in the vote because it is a cynical use of these countries automatic majority at the UN Assembly, which is aimed at adopting an unbalanced resolution.

 

Thus, following a relatively calm period, the UN has returned to being an arena hostile to Israel, which is dominated by an automatic majority of more than 100 countries which are capable of passing almost every decision.

 

Shortly before the start of the discussion, the European countries' ambassadors convened in a bid to make a decision which would allow them to vote as one block. Until the last moment, Israel hoped that the European vote would be split.

 

In the resolution's wording, the IDF's operation in Beit Hanoun was condemned, but according to a demand made by European states, the Qassam fire was also condemned.

 

Contrary to the wording calling for the establishment of a mechanism for humanitarian protection of Palestinian civilians against the IDF, the wording was changed to "looking into the possibility" of establishing such a mechanism under the Quartet's observation. This means in practice that such a mechanism will not be established as the US can veto it in the Quartet.

 

The Arab states changed the wording from "condemning" Israel's disproportionate use of force to the word "regretting." In diplomatic terms, this is a significant softening of the wording, but Israel is also running a diplomatic war against this wording.

 

The General Assembly could decide to send a delegation to look into the facts in Beit Hanoun and receive a report on the conclusions. Only the UN Security Council has the authority to make an operational decision.

 

First Published: 11.17.06, 19:22

 

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