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…And as it was expected, the same scenario at the United Nations renewed itself. Israel has been involved in an aggression against bleeding Gaza, yet the UNSC has failed, for the third time, to take action against the Jewish state to stop its bloodbath in the Strip, making this international body an accomplice in the murder of hundreds of innocent people.
Over 480 Palestinian martyrs and more than 2300 injured were not enough for the international community to issue a United Nations Security Council binding or non-binding resolution to end Israeli aggression.
As diplomacy always fails with Israel, the Palestinian resistance has dealt the occupation army a hard blow when infantry units sought to move forward into Gaza.
Hours after Israel announced the beginning of its ground offensive late on Saturday, the UN Security Council convened for an urgent meeting and four hours of closed-door deliberations, but eventually failed to agree on a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The United States argued that a ceasefire at the moment will return the situation in Gaza as it was before the beginning of the Israeli offensive.
Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum slammed the UN Security Council's conduct as "ridiculous", saying that "what happened tonight at the Security Council is a farce that demonstrates the United States and the Zionist occupiers' power in making decisions in this international body."
US deputy envoy Alejandro Wolff, talking to reporters after the consultations, said Washington believed it was important that the region "not return to the status quo" that had allowed Hamas to fire rockets into occupied territories.
As Israel's closest ally, Washington has regularly vetoed Security Council resolutions it sees as critical of the Zionist entity.
French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, who presides over the council this month, said "there was no formal agreement between member states" on a Gaza statement.
"But I have noted strong convergence in our concern about the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the situation," Ripert told reporters after the meeting.
"This is immoral, this is illegal, this is unacceptable, and the Security Council cannot continue to sit on its hands and not force Israel to comply with its position, the position that it adopted on Sunday morning," Permanent Palestinian observer at the United Nations Riyad Mansour said.
Libyan Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi said the impasse had produced "a sad day for the Security Council" as it failed once again "to voice its outrage at the escalation of the situation in Gaza."
A draft statement submitted earlier for the council's consideration by Libya on behalf of the Arab League had expressed "serious concern" about the ground invasion and called on the parties "to observe an immediate ceasefire and for its full respect."
On Friday, US President George W. Bush made clear he would not condemn an Israeli ground offensive, arguing that Israel had a right to defend itself against Hamas.
However, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an "immediate" halt to the violence and urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the impoverished Palestinian territory.
UN General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto of Nicaragua called the Israeli incursion "a monstrosity."
"And once again, the world is watching in dismay the inactivness of the Security Council," D'Escoto argued.
ISRAEL MEDIA SAYS US, EGYPT, INT’L COMMUNITY GIVING ISRAEL OFFENSIVE MORE TIME
In a report published Sunday by Israeli daily Haaretz, it said that the international community, headed by the U.S. and Egypt, is giving Israel time to carry out the ground offensive in Gaza, so it will severely damage Hamas' regime. The rationale behind such a move is that a weakened Hamas would improve the chances of achieving a stable agreement in Gaza once the fighting subsides.
And so there is a degree of foot-dragging in the diplomatic efforts to reach a cease-fire. The most visible sign of this was the decision to postpone the United Nations Security Council discussion on Gaza planned for Monday, Haaretz said.
France postponed the discussion to Wednesday, to ensure that it would be held after French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to the region on Monday.
According to the Haaretz report, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had requested that the discussion be postponed during her visit to France on Thursday.
It added, “In its efforts to formulate a draft for an agreement with Hamas in the wake of “Operation Cast Lead”, the designated team of Israeli officials is aiming to bring about the restoration of the cease-fire with Hamas, which expired on December 19, in addition to steps to curb Hamas' arms-smuggling through the border with Egypt.”
The officials, all of them from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, the defense establishment and the Foreign Ministry, are not seeking to introduce international enforcement bodies, but rather the introduction of an upgraded border control system on the Egyptian side of the border. The U.S. administration supports such a move, and is expected to assist the Egyptians in stepping up their efforts to control the border, the Israeli daily analyzed.
HAARETZ SAYS BUSH STOPPED ‘INITIATIVE’ BY RICE, MILLIBAN FOR CEASEFIRE
According to sources in the U.S., President George W. Bush has intercepted an initiative by his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice and her British counterpart, Secretary of State David Miliband, to formulate a cease-fire draft.
One source said Bush instructed the State Department to refrain from action in the matter. To date, the U.S. has refrained from sending any envoys or delegates to the region. According to officials, the U.S. and Israel are cooperating diplomatically on the issue.
Egypt's unexpected support for Israel in its aggression against Gaza has, according to Israeli diplomats, been a pleasant surprise for Tel Aviv.