Cook backs UN in criticism of Israel

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The Independent Online

Foreign Secretary Robin Cook today backed to a United Nations Security Council resolution which appears to place most of the blame for recent violence in the Middle East on Israel.

Foreign Secretary Robin Cook today backed to a United Nations Security Council resolution which appears to place most of the blame for recent violence in the Middle East on Israel.

The resolution passed in New York last night called on both sides to end the violence and return to the negotiating table, but it also specifically condemns Israel for "the excessive use of force against Palestinians".

Mr Cook said today that Britain's representative at the UN had helped push the resolution through and that the Government stood by its wording.

"Almost all the members of the Security Council voted for that resolution and it was a resolution in part brokered by the British representative in New York and we certainly stand by it," he told Sky News's Sunday with Adam Boulton programme.

"It is entirely proper that Israel should consider whether the level of violence being deployed by their forces was entirely appropriate to the degree of weaponry on the other side."

But he added: "I think there needs to be movement on both sides. This is not a time for the blame game, it is time for both sides to call on their people to show restraint and end the violence.

"That includes the Palestinians as well as the Israelis.

"Neither are going to win through violence and going back to confrontation and conflict. Both could win immensely if they get back to the peace table."

Figures provided by the UN last night said that most of the 1,900 people injured and 80 killed over the last 10 days of unrest have been Palestinians.

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