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On Gaza, Arab Group to Meet at 7 pm, UNSC After That, Sources Tell ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 14, 4:40 pm, updated -- After Palestine's Observer Riyad Mansour told the press he was raising to the UN Security Council Israel's "attack" on Gaza (fast transcript below), the specifics of the request and strategy were described to Inner City Press by informed sources.

"There will be an Arab Group meeting at the Mission of Sudan at 7 pm," the source said. "Then a request from them and maybe a Security Council meeting tonight."

A well placed Security Council source confirmed to Inner City Press the 7 pm meeting, and predicted a Council meeting after that.

More cautiously, a Permanent Representative on the Security Council told Inner City Press after Mansour's letter to Council president Hardeep Singh Puri, "there will be consultations and we'll take it from there."

Another Permanent Representative, also on the Council, told Inner City Press "today or tomorrow morning."

Israel's Ron Prosor came and spoke after Mansour, and asked rhetorically what Mahmood Abbas (or Abu Mazen as he called him) had said about Gaza, snarking he hasn't seen Gaza in years.

Inner City Press asked Prosor about the Golan -- his answer involved the ever elusive boss of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous -- and about Israel's vote against yesterday's resolution condemning the US embargo on Cuba, with only Palau and the US. We stand with the US, Prosor explained.

And what will be the US position on the requests for a Security Council meeting on Gaza, and any possible outcome? Watch this site.

Update of 5:15 pm to 4:40 story above -- a cynic adds another reason for the UNSC to meet tonight: Council members are slated to leave town Thursday for the so-called Finnish Workshop...

Update of 5:47 pm -- Palestine's Mansour, rushing into UNSC, stops and tells Inner City Press, "Most likely tonight." But what about an outcome / output?

Update of 6:16 pm: The Arab Group meeting at Sudan mission at 7 pm is now off: NAM caucus to meet now, then full UNSC at 6:30 on the request for an open meeting on Gaza.

Update of 6:28 pm - now it's said the 7pm meeting is back on, "until meeting in the big room" of the UNSC. ANd asked: what output?

Fast transcript of Riyad Mansour, November 14, 2012, by a Friend on Inner City Press:

Good afternoon, I just had a brief meeting a few minutes ago with the President of Security Council. I gave him a letter about this latest aggression by Israel against our people in the Gaza strip. In which they have assassinated a number of Palestinians in the Gaza strip. Our understanding that the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza so far in 9 and the number is increasing and there is a large number of people injured. The assassination was later on accompanies by attacks form the sea against the Gaza strip from Israeli naval units and they are mobilizing a large number of ground forces with the possibility of moving in the Gaza strip. The situation is very explosive we condemn in the strongest possible terms the latest aggression against our people and there is no justification whatsoever for assassinating any Palestinian by Israel, the occupying power. Also I send a similar letter to the Secretary General and to the President of the General Assembly.

I met just about an hour ago with the president of the General Assembly and I informed them about these latest provocations and escalation and aggression by the Israeli side. President Abbas condemned in the strongest terms this aggression against our people and the assassination of Palestinians in the Gaz Strip and communicated with the Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil Alaraby, and requested an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers and I understand just a few minutes ago that President Abbas also communicated with the president of Egypt, President Morsi, and we are collaborating with the Egyptian side and we are requesting a briefing about this aggression in the Security Council. Of course the Israeli aggression is as you know, is synchronized at the same time with our efforts of asking the General Assembly to act on our draft resolution on the 29 of this month. They are now opening a war against our people in the Gaza Strip. In order really to divert attention from the efforts in the GA and to put us in a situation, to put the energies and contacts in the Security Council.

But regardless of what their intentions are, we are determined along with all of our friends to succeed in our effort of legislating in the GA the change of status of Palestine to an observer state. We started the process along with the committee of Arab ambassadors, we met with the president of the GA a few days ago, we just finished a very successful meeting with the Council of Ambassadors of the African states, tomorrow we will have a barrage of meetings with the Secretary General, with the president of the Security Council, with the council of Ambassadors of the Group of Latin American countries and the Caribbean, listening to their ideas and reaction to the text that we put on the table to take into account whatever is reasonable and also to seek their endorsement and their support. We will meet with the European council of Ambassadors next week on Tuesday and we are now after I leave you there is a meeting of the coordinating bureau of NAM at 3pm in which we will repeat the request of support to our effort to see as many countries as possible to support the draft resolution regarding our status. We will continue engaging members of the SC, especially the president, in the next few hours and during the night in order to respond appropriately to this latest aggression against our people in the Gaza strip.

Did you ask the president of the SC for an emergency meeting to discuss Gaza? If so, how did he react?

Well, I asked hi that this situation is threatening international peace and security and we expect the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility in order to ensure that international peace and security is maintained in our region. We are not excluding any possibility we will explore all possibilities as we move ahead because information is coming to us as we speak and this aggression is expanding not to be restricted only to bombardment form the air but naval units of Israel are involved in this aggression and there is expectation that ground forces might move into the Gaza strip very shortly so the situation is escalating and we are not excluding any possibility. WE want the SC to act in accordance with its responsibility to stop this aggression against our people and to condemn the assassination of Palestinians.

Get your reaction to the killing of Hamas military commander?

We condemn the killing of any Palestinians regardless of their political affiliation. Assassination is illegal from the point of view of international law and Israel is committing a crime through the assassination of Palestinian individuals and Palestinian leaders.

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