Israel to continue operation despite Security Council resolutionJanuary 9th, 2009 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS
Gaza City/Tel Aviv, Jan 9 (DPA) A UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire notwithstanding, Israel’s security cabinet decided Friday to continue its military campaign in the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported.The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that Israel would never let outside factors determine its course of action and the military would continue to carry out its duties as required.
Caretaker Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened his inner security cabinet Friday morning to discuss Israel’s response to the resolution.
Israel also maintains an option, analysts said, to go to “phase three”, which would mean sending more ground troops deeper into populated areas.
Fighting continued even after the resolution was passed with Israel conducting airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, killing 11 Palestinians.
Over 30 rockets and mortars were fired by Palestinian militants at Israel, with one landing in an empty school, local media reported.
Olmert said the rocket fire “proved” that the UN resolution was “impractical” and would not be accepted by Gaza’s militants.
Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said about the resolution that Israel would act according to “its own considerations, the safety of its citizens and its right to self-defence.”
Hamas rejected the resolution, with spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri telling Arabic news channel al-Jazeera from Yemen, “We are not concerned by the decision because Hamas was not consulted and it did not take into consideration the interest and demands of our people in Gaza.”
The Islamic Jihad also said in a statement the council’s decision was not acceptable.
A senior government official told Israel Radio Friday morning that a cabinet decision would not necessarily come today.
Israel’s Gaza offensive would end only after its goals of ending rocket attacks on southern Israel now and in the future were achieved, the official said.
The offensive continued, with the Israel Air Force pounding dozens more targets throughout the strip overnight.
At least 11 Palestinians were reported killed, including six members of the family of an activist of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP): his wife, sister-in-law and four children.
The Palestinian death toll stood at 781, with around 3,250 people injured, according to medics.
Nine Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed since the offensive began Dec 27.
Four Israeli soldiers were injured in ground fighting overnight.
At least 11 rockets were fired by Palestinian militants Friday morning, media reports said.
The military said it had placed a two-day closure, set to end early Sunday, on the West Bank as a security precaution.
Hamas spokesmen called on its supporters in the West Bank, under control of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to protest over the conflict in Gaza, as they had done the week before.
An Abbas spokesman had called the Security Council resolution an “Arab accomplishment.”
The resolution came after days of intense negotiations between Arab members states and the council’s Western veto powers, the United States, Britain and France.
It passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 14-0.
Only the US abstained, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying Washington “fully supports” the goals, text and objectives of the resolution but abstained because it felt it was important to see the outcomes of the Egyptian efforts to achieve a mediated diplomatic solution.
The carefully worded text calls for an “immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire” as well as for alleviating the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the “sustainable” reopening of Gaza’s border crossings.
But it also calls for the prevention of “illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition” to Gaza via Egypt - a major Israeli concern - as well as for “tangible steps” towards reconciliation between the rival Palestinian Hamas and Fatah factions in Gaza and the West Bank.
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Tags: ehud olmert, gaza city, islamic jihad, israel radio, israeli foreign minister, palestinian militants, prime minister ehud, prime minister ehud olmert, security council resolution, southern israel