US and Arab states clash at UN Security Council

America and Arab states will lock horns again today in the UN Security Council as Libya seeks an immediate ceasefire and a formal condemnation of the escalation of violence in Gaza.

The 15-member council agreed yesterday on the terms of a statement read to the press, after a five-hour emergency session. But the US delegation managed to tone down the language and it failed to match the unusually strong denunciation issued by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who condemned the "disproportionate and excessive use of force" by Israel "that has killed and injured so many civilians, including children". He also condemned Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli towns as "acts of terrorism" and called for an end to the attacks by both sides.

Libya has now circulated a draft resolution which is due to be discussed by the council members today and would constitute their first formal response if adopted. But in a closed session, some delegations, including Britain's, rejected the text for failing to point out that Israeli military attacks were launched in response to militants firing missiles. The US ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, said: "It's not a balanced resolution, certainly."

Diplomats said yesterday that Libya, representing the Palestinians and Arab countries on the council, may retain its original draft to attract a US veto at a public meeting of the council as the US has frequently used its veto to block resolutions condemning Israel.

"We don't know yet what the Libyans want to achieve," said one Security Council diplomat. "It could take a fair bit of negotiating."

The draft resolution calls for "an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including military attacks and the firing of rockets, and calls upon all parties to respect the ceasefire".

The US and Libyan delegations clashed during the lengthy discussions on Saturday night which produced the press statement read by the Russia's UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin . Libya objected to US support for describing the Palestinian attacks as "acts of terrorism", in line with Mr Ban's statement to the council. The US, meanwhile, rejected a reference to the council's concern about the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza, caused by the "excessive use of force." In the end, the press summary expressed appreciation for Mr Ban's participation and simply "takes note of his statement".

The Palestinian permanent observer to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said Israel's actions in Gaza amounted to "war crimes", an accusation rejected by the Israeli deputy ambassador, Daniel Carmon.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created