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As Rafah Shelled, Ban on IDF Soldier UNcorrected, Mansour in DC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 3, more here -- The UN's Ban Ki-moon on August 1 said that an Israeli Defense Forces soldier had been taken hostage and it called into question the credibility of Hamas.

  After the IDF on August 2 said the soldier, Hadar Goldin, had in fact been killed in action, Ban Ki-moon did not issue any correction -- even in his next statement, about the shelling of the UNRWA school in Rafah. Call it schizophrenia. Ban's August 1 statement, into which UN officials tell Inner City Press Ban was pressured, had performed its function. Now it's back to auto-pilot.

  On NBC's Meet the Press, the State of Palestine's Permanent Representative to the UN Riyad Mansour was badgered by David Gregory, notably more schmoozy than usual, about Hamas' use of human shield.

  "Ask Doctors Without Borders," Mansour retorted, and cited the shelling of the Rafah school.

UN's function as figleaf and theater, Ban delivers: On August 1 at noon in New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon through his spokesman said that the an Israeli Defense Forces soldier had been taken captive and that this called "into question the credibility of Hamas' assurances to the United Nations. The Secretary-General demands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier."

  Later on August 1, a range of UN official described to Inner City Press the pressure put on Ban to rule that Hamas broke the ceasefire and held captive an IDF soldier.  "How does he know?" one UN official demanded.

   Now on August 3, the IDF says that the soldier, Hadar Goldin, "was killed in action." 

  So will there be a second Ban Ki-moon statement? What will the pressure be this time?


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