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On Gaza, Still With No Ceasefire, UNSC Kicks Can Down Road, 3 to 6 to 3pm?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 20 -- That the UN Security Council is a backwater, this week on Gaza, was confirmed several times on Tuesday. A 9 am deadline had been set for objections to a press statement calling for a cessation of violence.

But as Inner City Press reported just after 9 am, an objection was made by the US and the silence procedure was broken -- like the UN and Security Council, some say.

  At Tuesday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Ban, in Israel, had any comment on the Security Council press statement not being agreed to. No, he said, Ban's focus is the (other) efforts to achieve a ceasefire.

In other cases, Ban has called for the Security Council to unite and take action. But, some note, those cases had other countries in the position of opposition.

Morocco and Palestine had said if silence was broken, they would ask for an open public meeting. Russia has said if silence was broken, it would call for a vote on its resolution, at 3 pm on Tuesday.

But when 3 pm came around, it was not a vote, nor an open meeting. It was a closed door meeting to talk about holding an open meeting, at 6pm. This was explained to Inner City Press as being based on an expectation, or hope, of a ceasefire being announced in Cairo by 5 pm New York time.

That already seemed unlikely at 3pm, and more and more unlikely after that. A Palestinian representative complained to Inner City Press, the ceasefire is being delayed between of electoral problems in Israel. And attacks will ramp up tonight.

So will the Council hold a public meeting at 6 pm? No, he predicted.

The strategy, as explained to Inner City Press, is to push back the "final" decision on an open meeting on Gaza until 3 pm on the Wednesday before US Thanksgiving, giving more time for a ceasefire. But if one is not reached by then? Watch this site.

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