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12 Mar, 2012 19:17

Israelis and Palestinians call on UN to act

The Middle East Quartet has discussed the escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions, after both sides called on the UN to mediate in the conflict. But there will be no result until a “strong power” condemns the violence, activist Derek Graham told RT.

After the meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged both sides in the conflict to “show the courage and vision needed to reach a historic agreement.” He also demanded that Palestinians stop launching rockets into southern Israel, adding that, at the same time, Israel should adopt “maximum restraint” in retaliatory actions.The violence between Israel and Palestine is continuing into its fourth day, and both Israel and Palestine have called on the UN to take action or at least condemn the violence. Human rights activist Derek Graham believes that there will be no progress in resolving the conflict and particularly no positive outcome for Palestine until some strong power, such as Russia or China, plainly condemns the violence.“Until some major power stands up to Israel and says ‘enough is enough’ they are going to continue their attacks,” he said. Russia has indeed expressed some anxiety over the situation, with the foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, saying that “the resumed exchanges of strikes between Israel and Gaza, which cause losses among civilians on both sides, are particularly alarming.”According to Haim Waxman, Israel’s deputy UN ambassador, more than 150 rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip in the previous 48 hours. “For the sake of security and stability in our region, the Security Council and all responsible members of the international community must immediately and unequivocally condemn and do everything in their power to stop the rocket fire that continues to rain down on Israeli civilians,” the envoy said in a letter to the Security Council, as cited by AFP.Israel retaliated to the Palestinian aggression with massive airstrikes, killing 23 Gazans, reportedly including women and children.“Last night you had a civilian house targeted in Jabalia [in Gaza], where there were 25 injured, [including] eight children and nine women,” Graham said. “This is a complete violation of the Geneva Convention. And yet the world hasn’t even condemned it.”The Palestinian envoy, Riyad Mansour, said the UNSC must “act with urgency to address this crisis.” He said that Israel’s “violence and terror” had already killed and wounded “dozens” of innocent women and children.Israel justifies its attacks, despite the fact they have killed more civilians than militants, by arguing it has a right to protect itself and strike back against rockets fired against its own people. Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the Israeli military is “ready to broaden its operations and will continue to act as necessary.'' But Israeli officials come up with such statements all the time, Derek Graham says.