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Archive for Sunday, July 28, 2002

U.N. resolution aimed at Israel

July 28, 2002

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— Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat expressed disappointment that the United States intended to block a proposed U.N. resolution on Mideast violence if it did not contain language condemning attacks by Palestinians.

"I am sorry to say ... (the Americans) are going to use the veto against any statement condemning Israeli crimes," Arafat told reporters Friday.

In New York, Arab nations introduced a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli military actions, a move that comes after last week's Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip. The attack killed a leader of the militant Hamas movement along with 14 other people, including nine children.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, told a closed Security Council meeting the resolution was one-sided, and the United States would oppose it if it came to a vote, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

The resolution also expressed sympathy for Palestinian victims of 22 months of bloodshed, but made no mention of Israeli victims or Palestinians attacks.

Negroponte told council members that future Mideast resolutions must include a condemnation of Palestinian violence and an explicit condemnation of the militant groups, U.S. officials said.

The United States also wants resolutions for both parties to pursue a political solution to the conflict. Any mention of an Israeli troop withdrawal from Palestinian areas must include references to Israel's security situation, its diplomats said.

Arafat had hoped the United Nations would band together and condemn Israel's recent military forays in the Palestinian territories. Israel said its policy of reoccupying West Bank towns was aimed at preventing Palestinian attacks on its citizens.

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said that his recent talks with Palestinian officials "had reached no clear result" on achieving a cease-fire, but said they should continue.

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