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As UN Fails to Pass Israel or Gaza Statements, Palestine Says May Be Military

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- After the UN Security Council broke up its Friday meeting without agreeing on any statements, Inner City Press asked the Permanent Observer of Palestine Riyad Mansour if the killings in southern Israel constituted a terrorist attack."

  Mansour replied, "If there are clashes involving military forces on both sides... it would be difficult to have anyone make any description... without knowing all the facts." Video here, from Minute 5:35.

  Inner City Press earlier on Friday reported exclusively, on this argument that since there was a bus containing Israeli soldiers, it was not a terrorist attack, and that a separate statement on Gaza was being proposed. At the stakeout, Inner City Press asked Mansour if Palestine could have lived, or could still live, with two statements.

  "Two separate statements to be adopted together," he said, "today, was not accepted."

  Inner City Press asked if he thought the Security Council might have to reconvene this weekend.

"It depends if they want to exploit this incident to look for an escapegoat for social pressures inside Israel, and what we'll be doing in September," Mansour replied, "if there are extremists on part of the Israelis, and maybe other extremists, to divert from issues they are facing, it might be convenient to intensify the fighting... in Gaza." Video here, from Minute 10:57.

Mansour at stakeout Aug 19, Lebanon not shown

While US Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo at least came out to issue a short statement that it was unfortunate a standard anti-terror statement could not be agreed to, Lebanon's delegation did not come out to speak. Later Inner City Press was told Lebanon's position is that it offered to "meet the US half way," and have two statements. Lebanon should speak more. Watch this site.

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At UN, Proposal for 2 Statements on Gaza and Israel Attacks, Terrorist Or Not?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- As Lebanon and the US met during a break in Security Council break consultations, the idea of separate Press Statements on the attacks in southern Israel, and in Gaza, was floated.

"Caroline has a good point," a Council source told Inner City Press, referring to Lebanon Deputy Permanent Representative Caroline Ziade. "She said that the death of a baby on either side has to be treated the same way."

Ziade met with US Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo, as Perm Rep Susan Rice is away from the UN. Palestinian Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour confirmed to Inner City Press there's discussion in the Council to not call the attack on a bus containing Israeli soldiers a "terrorist" attack.

On the issue of Israel's settlements, it seems unlikely to make it into any Council statement at this time, since there is a Council debate on "the Middle East" coming up. But terrorism, or just attacks, just be condemned relatively quickly, the argument goes. But are they terrorist? Watch this site.

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At UN, Resistance to Calling Attack in Israel "Terrorist," As Soldiers On Board

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- As the Security Council met behind closed doors Friday about the attacks in southern Israel, sources in the meeting told Inner City Press of a move to remove from the US introduced draft Press Statement the characterization as "terrorist" the shooting at a bus with Israeli soldiers on it.

"It's going to be a long meeting," one of the sources said. Beyond the move to strip out the word "terrorist," there's a proposal to condemn Israel's actions after the attack. Palestinian Observer Riyad Mansour told the Press that Israel has killed eight civilians in the Gaza Strip, including two children.

Asked if he thought the briefing by UN Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez Taranco was even handed, Mansour responded with a question: do you think it might not be fair?

That was the implication of Syrian Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari on August 18, when he told the Press that while he had given information about developments in his country to the UN Secretariat, some did not pass it on to the Security Council.

Another source inside the Council meeting derived Taranco's briefing as being based only on "open source" information, meaning surfing the Internet. We shouldn't be making decision on this scanty information, the Council source said. But so it goes at the UN. Watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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