Thalif Deen

US weaponry facilitates killings in Gaza

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - The devastating Israeli firepower, unleashed largely on Palestinian civilians in Gaza during two weeks of military siege, is the product of advanced US military technology. The US weapons systems used by the Israelis — including F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles and a wide array of munitions — have been provided by Washington mostly as outright military grants. 

Only mild Security Council criticism for Israeli attacks

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - After an emergency closed-door session Sunday night, the 15-member Security Council issued a politically bland statement expressing “serious concern” over the devastating Israeli air strikes on Gaza and calling for an “immediate halt to all violence.” The statement was predictable because the United States, a traditionally loyal Israeli ally, would never agree to anything smacking of a “censure” or “condemnation” of Israel — even as the death toll rose to more than 300 Palestinians, mostly civilians. 

UN head reports death threats after Israel criticism

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - The outspoken president of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, who recently described Israeli policies in the occupied territories as tantamount to “apartheid,” says his life is under threat. Enrique Yeves, spokesperson for the president, told reporters Monday there were “very serious threats” on the Internet against d’Escoto’s life and the matter is being looked into both by the UN security services and law enforcement officials in the United States. 

UN assembly head hailed for slamming Israel

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, dropped a political bombshell last week when he lashed out at Israel for its repressive actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the recent blockade of humanitarian aid to Gaza. “What is being done to the Palestinian people seems to me to be a version of the hideous policy of apartheid,” he told delegates, during a meeting commemorating the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” 

UN report castigates Israeli abuse of journalists

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - A new United Nations report on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories blasts the Israeli government for its heavy-handed treatment of journalists reporting on the military occupation. The 20-page report, which will go before the 63rd sessions of the General Assembly currently underway, singles out the mistreatment of award-winning Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer who was stripped, interrogated, kicked and beaten up when he returned from Europe to his home town in the occupied territory of Gaza last June. 

Security Council loses credibility over Iran, Israel

UNITED NATIONS, 29 January (IPS) - The 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) is set to lose its credibility once again as it prepares to impose a third set of sanctions on Iran while failing to pass any strictures on Israel for its continued heavy-handed repression of Palestinians in Gaza. “Many ask whether the UNSC still has any credibility left,” says Mouin Rabbani, contributing editor to the Washington-based Middle East Report

Crisis persists despite beefed up peacekeeping

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 6 (IPS) - Despite a massive boost in its peacekeeping force in Lebanon — from about 2,200 in July last year to some 13,700 last week — the United Nations has little good news to report regarding the politically-troubled country. “I am deeply concerned that Lebanon remains in the midst of a debilitating political crisis and faces ongoing attacks aimed at destabilizing and undermining its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report on the first anniversary of last summer’s conflict between Hizballah and Israel. 

Unilateral U.S. Undermines U.N.'s Credibility

Last week, [Nelson] Mandela said he was disappointed that not a single world leader had publicly condemned the recent U.S. decision to grab the 12,000-page Iraqi arms dossier and spirit it to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before the other 14 members of the U.N. Security Council could even peek at it. The following report from the Interpress Service cites EI’s Ali Abunimah.