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10 Jan, 2009 02:28

Attacks continue despite UN resolution

Hamas and Israel have rejected a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Both sides continued their attacks on Friday.

Hamas rockets rained down on southern Israel while Israeli jets conducted multiple air strikes in Gaza. It’s now two weeks since Israel launched its offensive to stop militant rocket attacks.

Israel says the UN ceasefire resolution “is not practical” as Hamas continues rocket attacks on its territory. Officials in Tel-Aviv have once again underlined that the military operation in Gaza will not stop until all its objectives are complete.

“Responsibility for the current hostilities lies squarely with Hamas. The international community must focus its attention on the cessation of Hamas' terrorist activity and make clear that a terrorist organisation can never be a legitimate leadership,” said Gabriela Shalev, Israeli Ambassador to the UN.

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution calling for an immediate and durable ceasefire between Hamas militants and Israeli forces in Gaza. It also welcomed the prospect of an international conference on the Middle East peace process in Moscow in 2009.

The resolution was passed by 14 votes to 0 with the US abstaining. Israel and Hamas were not party to the vote.

The resolution also called for the Israeli military to pull out from Gaza, for measures to stop the smuggling of arms into the region, and for checkpoints on the Gaza border to be reopened.

“The UN Security Council demands to secure unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid on the territory of Gaza, including food, fuel and medicine. It welcomes initiatives aimed at the creation and opening of humanitarian corridors, and other mechanisms to secure the stable delivery of humanitarian aid,” the resolution reads.

The Security Council resolution was reached after three days of intense negotiations between Arab and Western officials at the UN.

The latest figures suggest at least 770 Palestinians and 14 Israelis have died in the conflict.

Protests across the world

As Israel presses on with its offensive in Gaza, the global outcry against the attacks continues.

In Indian controlled Kashmir, protesters pelted police with stones and burned Israeli and American flags.

The city of Srinagar has seen some of the most violent protests against Israel's Gaza offensive.

Hundreds spilled onto the streets in Kenya's capital Nairobi, waving banners and chanting support for the Palestinians.

Police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and water cannon as they headed for the Israeli Embassy.

In Jordan, police clashed with about 2,000 demonstrators near the Israeli embassy.

Scores of riot officers fired tear gas at the protesters who were calling on their country to cut diplomatic ties with Israel.

Several people were injured and dozens arrested.

In Iran, demonstrators shouted anti-Israeli slogans and condemned Egypt for not taking action against Israel.

Speaking at a Friday prayer service in Tehran, a senior Iranian politician said the world needs a new United Nations organisation.

Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Iranian Assembly of Experts, claimed the present one was an American organisation and the cause of the world’s ‘insecurities’.