Friday, January 9, 2009

U.N. And Red Cross Add to Outcry on Gaza War - NYT

More from the most accurate newspaper whining about the slaughter of Palestinians. Man-up & be murdered, eh? God gave them the land, eh? So, they stole some of it, get over it, right?

JERUSALEM — International aid groups lashed out at Israel on Thursday over the war in Gaza, saying that access to civilians in need is poor, relief workers are being hurt and killed, and Israel is woefully neglecting its obligations to Palestinians who are trapped, some among rotting corpses in a nightmarish landscape of deprivation.
The United Nations declared a suspension of its aid operations after one of its drivers was killed and two others were wounded despite driving United Nations-flagged vehicles and coordinating their movements with the Israeli military. The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, called for an investigation by Israel for a second time in a week after the more than 40 deaths near a United Nations school from Israeli tank fire on Tuesday.
The International Committee of the Red Cross reported finding what it called shocking scenes on Wednesday, including four emaciated children next to the bodies of their dead mothers. In a rare and sharply critical statement, it said it believed that “the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded.”
Israeli officials said that they were examining all the allegations, that they did not aim at civilians and that they were not certain that the source of fire that killed and wounded the United Nations drivers was Israeli.
“We do our utmost to avoid hitting civilians, and many times we don’t fire because we see civilians nearby,” said Maj. Avital Leibovich, chief army spokeswoman for the foreign media. “We are holding meetings with U.N. officials to try to work out a mechanism so that their work can go forward.”
She said that the army learned of the Red Cross allegations in a media report, and that the Geneva-based committee had not yet presented the evidence of what she called “these very serious allegations” to the army.
At the United Nations, members of the Security Council voted Thursday night to approve a resolution calling for “an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire” that would lead to the “full withdrawal” of Israeli forces from Gaza, the passage of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians and an end to the trafficking of arms and ammunition into the territory.
Fourteen nations approved the measure, with the United States abstaining. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States abstained from voting on the resolution, which left it unclear how a cease-fire would be enforced, because it wanted to see whether mediation efforts undertaken by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt succeed. The United States did not veto the resolution because Washington supports its overall goals, she said.

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