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by Shlomo Shamir
Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2004 at 12:12 PM
The United States will veto a resolution condemning Israel for its military operation in the Gaza Strip should such a resolution be proposed during Monday's United Nations Security Council meeting, a diplomatic source in Washington told Haaretz.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman, referring to the Security Council debate, said Monday that, "In the past, as well, the Americans have not allowed one-sided resolutions to pass. They understand that our activity is a response to Qassams, they understand that Israel has the right to self-defense."
The Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to discuss Israel's operation in the northern Gaza Strip.
Algeria, which currently holds a temporary rotating spot on the 15-member body, requested the meeting Sunday, in line with the Arab League's suggestion that the Security Council hold a special meeting on the operation, which is aimed at stopping Palestinians from firing rockets at Israeli targets.
At least 65 Palestinians, many of them militants, have been killed during Operation Days of Penitence, which began last Tuesday.
The 22-member Arab League agreed on Sunday to ask the UN General Assembly to discuss Israel's operation in north Gaza, referring to it as "the grave Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people."
In a statement issued after an emergency meeting, Arab League representatives called on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to prepare a report on the Israeli "crimes" against the Palestinian people and asked governments and relief agencies to send humanitarian aid.
Several Arab countries and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council have condemned the Israeli offensive. The GCC on Sunday called it "organized state terrorism."
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said the attacks were "in violation of international laws and the Geneva agreements."
Annan urged Israel on Sunday to halt the raid, saying many Palestinian civilians had been killed. He also called on Palestinian leaders to stop the rocket attacks.
Israel's incursions "have led to the deaths of scores of Palestinians, among them many civilians, including children," Annan said in a statement.
He said he "reminds both sides to this conflict that they have a legal obligation to protect all civilians."
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