News / Middle East

UN Official Condemns Rocket Attack on Israel

Israeli bomb technicians inspect the remains of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip which landed near the southern city of Ashkelon on February 26, 2013.
Israeli bomb technicians inspect the remains of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip which landed near the southern city of Ashkelon on February 26, 2013.
Larry Freund
A senior United Nations official has condemned a Tuesday rocket attack which Israel alleges came from the Gaza Strip, and he called on Israel to demonstrate maximum restraint.  Israel says a single rocket landed outside the city of Ashkelon, causing no injuries.

The U.N. Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, told the U.N. Security Council there is no justification for rocket attacks, which he said not only target innocent civilians but risk triggering a renewed spiral of violence.

A Palestinian militant group has claimed it fired the rocket as a response to what it terms the assassination of prisoner Arafat Jaradat.  But the Hamas government in Gaza accused Israel of fabricating the rocket incident.

The 30-year-old Jaradat died in Israeli custody, triggering Palestinian demonstrations and clashes in the West Bank and accusations that Jaradat was tortured.  Israel says Jaradat was not beaten during his interrogation and that he died of a heart attack.

In his remarks to the Security Council, Feltman said the U.N. continues to condemn all indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.

“It is important for both sides to maintain their commitment to the cease-fire brokered in November 2012, and it is the responsibility of the de facto authorities in the Gaza Strip to prevent any recurrence of today’s attack," he said. "Until today’s Palestinian rocket attack, this was the longest period without projectiles fired from Gaza in recent years, and both sides should work to consolidate the calm that prevailed before today.”

Feltman called for an independent and transparent investigation by Israeli authorities into the circumstances surrounding Jaradat’s death. Of particular concern, he added, is the worsening health of four other Palestinian prisoners who are on a hunger strike.

​Feltman also says new life must be injected into the dormant Middle East peace process.

“This is a time for renewed impetus and political will to end the conflict and the occupation that has already scarred the lives of far too many Israelis and Palestinians for far too long," he said."We need to act now, first and foremost for the sake of the younger generations. They deserve a future of peace.”

Feltman called on the Security Council to act decisively on fostering Mideast peace.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Ettore Greco
February 27, 2013 11:38 AM
“Many simultaneous rebellions stirred up in Arab Countries will benefit in the end only the State of Israel with the expansion of its territory Europe and in the US, the financial resources "like magic" will disappear through bailouts, tax cuts and elaborated emergency maneuvers which will be ruled only to appear beneficial for those Countries but instead appositely designed for their collapse (except for England that will push Europe over the precipice). The Deception supported by the media is the Zionist main weapon and there is a risk that people will realize what is happening only when it will be too late and there will be no alternatives.

by: Ben
February 27, 2013 10:19 AM
Larry, as a Jew you aren`t ashamed of the next reaction of the anti-semitic UN?
As always UN shake its finger at beloved Hamas and recommend the always guilty Israel to justificate herself before terroristic gang.
Isreal must immideately leave this UN.
In Response

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City,NJ
February 28, 2013 2:52 AM
Listen Ben,whether the UN sees the true or not,you cannot buried the true,the true will always speak for cannot allow the enemy to run you out of town,we must stay in the UN, and the true will prevail,I dont care what they do in the UN,the bottom line is in Israel.The whole world know that land is for the Jews,whether you hate the Jews or not,you dare well know that land is for the Jews.By the way, I am not a Jews,I am an African from Liberia,who love Israel.I am a strong supporter of the Jewish State.God Bless Israel

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City,NJ
February 27, 2013 3:07 AM
Hamas primary motive is to hurt the Jewish People,because in no way Hamas can fight nor defeat Israel,so what they do is to target innocent civilians populated area,and this is a ground to breed more violence in the region,it is a remedy for failure in the peace process.Becuz what give them the right to killed Israeli civilians and Israel cannot do the same?what give them the right to shed the innocent Israel civilians Blood,and Israel cannot do the same?

look we are not violence people ,dont get us wrong,we just need the JEWS HATERS TO ANSWER OUR QUESTION,simple as that.Israel is committed to the cease fire,those people are the one's with the problem,check around the world,who are the problem people? the Islamic people.and there is no if or but about this.We agreed with feltman,however the younger generation from the other side are rebels,if they deserve a future,then they need to lay down their arms and stand for their future and for the sake of peace.But how can they lay their arms when they have been indoctrinated from birth to hate the Jews?the world has a big problem in their hands,you mark my word....

by: Leroy from: Padmore
February 26, 2013 8:06 PM
Now the world watched on 02/26/13, A rocket from Gaza landed into Israel,what the UN,the so call world leaders are doing about this?and to ALL THE ISRAEL HATERS,WHAT ARE YOU SAYING NOW?if it was Israel,then the whole world will be on blaze,But as we said,we support Israel to defend herself against any attacked from Gaza,Lebanon,Syria,or Iran.Israel being a sovereign state has the right as any nation to defend and protect it's citizen.If Israel fire rocket into Iran,Iran will defend herself,so why Israel cannot do the same?But we are calling on the UN to look into this matter,because every aggression against Israel must stop.or else another war will begin.and I can guarantee you Israel will pound on Gaza,God Bless Israel,Shalom to the Jewish People

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs