News / Middle East

UN Condemns Gaza Militants Over Rocket Attacks

Robert Serry (file photo)
Robert Serry (file photo)

The United Nations has sharply condemned a rise in cross-border attacks by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and acknowledged Israel's right to self defense, one day after a rocket exploded close to an Israeli kindergarten.

The U.N. Middle East envoy, Robert Serry, said Wednesday that rocket strikes from Gaza at Israel were in "clear violation of international humanitarian law" and endangered civilians.

The criticism drew a strong response from Gaza's Hamas rulers, who said Serry's remarks reflected "double standards."  Hamas says it will file a complaint with the U.N. against Israeli air raids on the Palestinian territory.

Israeli warplanes have carried out air strikes in Gaza over the last few days, including one that killed five Palestinian militants on Saturday, the highest single death toll since a three-week Israeli offensive in Gaza two years ago.  Israeli military officials said they carried out the strikes after at least 13 mortar rounds were fired from Gaza into Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli military officials said they will deploy tanks equipped with a new defense system along the Gaza border after Palestinian militants for the first time used a sophisticated, anti-tank missile believed to be the most advanced weapon in their arsenal.

In parliamentary testimony Tuesday, Israel's military chief, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, confirmed militants had fired a laser-guided Kornet missile two weeks ago that penetrated the outer armor of an Israeli tank but did not explode.  No one was injured in the incident, the first time such a weapon has been used from the Gaza Strip.  

Ashkenazi called the missile, "one of the most dangerous" on the battlefield.

Israeli defense officials said the Kornet came from Iran, the top backer of Gaza's Hamas rulers.  Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah militia, also backed by Iran, used the Russian-made Kornets in their 2006 war against Israel, destroying or damaging several dozen Israeli tanks.

Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official has been quoted saying a draft resolution condemning Israel's West Bank settlement activity is ready to be presented to the United Nations Security Council.

Reuters quoted Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat Wednesday as saying he expects the resolution to be put to a vote in February, after the United States ends its presidency of the council.

Erekat told Reuters he hopes the United States will not use its veto to defeat the measure, which was reportedly drafted with the help of 15 nations.  

As the Palestinians only have observer status at the U.N., the resolution will be presented by a full member of the council.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid