US Blocks UN Call for Gaza Truce

Americans want Hamas labeled 'terrorist'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 4, 2009 7:04 AM CST
A Palestinian man displaced by Israeli missile strikes listens to the radio with family members at a United Nations school in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday.   (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
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(Newser) – The US has blocked Libya’s push to issue a UN Security Council call for a Gaza ceasefire, Reuters reports. Libya, the only Arab member of the council, had circulated a draft statement expressing "serious concern"  and urging all parties to "observe an immediate ceasefire." American officials said Hamas could not be counted on to observe a ceasefire, and that any resolution must refer to Hamas as a terrorist organization.

There were "convergences to express serious concern" and call for a ceasefire, but the council was unable to unanimously approve a statement, said France’s UN ambassador. The British ambassador said he was "very disappointed" about the council's failure to take action. Israel's ground assault in the Gaza Strip is the most serious fighting in the region in decades, and has claimed hundreds of lives.