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After Gaza Meeting, Palestine Tells ICP Observer State Would "Open Door" to ICC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 14 -- After the closed door Gaza meeting of the UN Security Council late Wednesday, both Palestine's Riyad Mansour and Israel's Ron Prosor spoke to the press again, as they had in the afternoon. What was changed, by this 9 pm "urgent" meeting?

  A Security Council diplomat exiting the meeting told Inner City Press it was "useless," that the United States would "never agree to a statement."

  Other Ambassadors were more upbeat, at least on the record. Both Russia's Vitaly Churkin and India's Hardeep Singh Puri said they hoped the closed door session would send a message and de-escalate things. But how?

  Inner City Press asked Riyad Mansour if the draft resolution to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN to that of Observer State would allow referral of cases to the International Criminal Court. He replied that it would open many doors.

Here is Palestine's draft resolution to become a non-member State of the UN.

  Earlier, Egypt made the first  request for a Security Council meeting on Gaza. Inner City Press has obtained Egypt's letter.  Palestine, after a first letter that did not request a meeting, requested one and brought representatives of other Arab states. In the first stakeout, including Lebanon, Sudan, Djibouti and others, expanding in the second stakeout to include Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Libya and others.

  Some found the ICC question ironic, in that Sudan is a vocal opponent of the ICC and referrals to it.

  When Israel's Ron Prosor came to speak, Inner City Press asked him the same question, whether the status Palestine seeks would bring the ICC with it. Prosor's response was about Hamas being a terrorist entity. He said NMS, Non Member States, should be switched to NMTS, Non Member Terrorist State.

  By the same token, it was ironic when Israel said no country would accept being bombed -- when Sudan accuses Israel of bombing the Yarmouk facility in Khartoum.

  Mansour said if Israel continues attacks, more "products" will be presented to the Security Council, including a resolution. But US opposition seems certain. Watch this site.

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