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US Says Will Veto Security Council Resolution Condemning Israel's Gaza Offensive - 2004-10-05


At the United Nations, the Security Council is preparing to vote on an Arab-drafted resolution demanding that Israel halt its Gaza offensive. U.S. Ambassador John Danforth said the United States will veto the resolution if it comes up for a vote.

Earlier Tuesday, an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City has killed a top official of Islamic Jihad and another member of the militant Palestinian group.

Israeli officials say the attack targeted 40-year-old Bashir al-Dabash, who headed Islamic Jihad's military wing known as the al-Quds Brigade. He and the other man were killed instantly when an attack helicopter fired two missiles at their car.

Israel has vowed to hunt down and kill the leaders of Palestinian militant groups. Mr. al-Dabash was the most senior militant killed by Israel since it assassinated two leaders of the Hamas group earlier this year.

More than 65 Palestinians and at least five Israelis have been killed since Israel pushed into Gaza last week.

Meanwhile, The Israeli army has arrested 13 United Nations employees on suspicion of terrorist activities.

Army officials Tuesday said charges will be brought against the 13. But they did not provide specifics.

The arrests come after Israel complained to the United Nations, saying Palestinian militants were using U.N. ambulances to transport weapons.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched an investigation into those accusations late Monday. The head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, Peter Hansen, rejected the Israeli accusations as deliberately inciteful and as propaganda.

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