Accessibility links

Palestinians Request Security Council Meeting - 2001-12-13

The Palestinian Observer Mission at the United Nations is again asking the Security Council to meet on the latest developments in the Middle East.

At the urging of the Palestinians, the Arab group at the United Nations formally requested the meeting, and is drafting a resolution that it hopes the council will adopt.

The call for a meeting came after the Israeli government decided to break off contacts with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The decision was made as the result of Wednesday's attack on an Israeli bus in the West Bank. Israel says Mr. Arafat is not doing enough to end violent attacks against Israeli civilians and has therefore become "irrelevant."

The head of the Palestinian Observer Mission at the United Nations, Nasser al-Kidwa, told reporters Israeli military action has made it almost impossible for Palestinian security forces to do their jobs. "The continuous Israeli campaign against the establishments of the Palestinian Authority, especially the security apparatus, practically makes it [arresting militants] impossible," he said.

Last week, the Palestinians urged the council to meet to discuss Israeli retaliation for suicide bombings, but council members decided to wait. Mr. al-Kidwa said he is hopeful that, this time, the council will hold a public meeting very soon. A proposed resolution will reportedly call for an international observer force in the region, a proposal that has come before the council several times before, and either had insufficient support or was vetoed by the United States.