Israel hails UN walkout over Libya remarks
French Ambassador walked out of UN meeting, after their Libyan counterpart compared Gaza situation to Nazi death camps.24 April 2008
JERUSALEM - Israel on Thursday hailed Western diplomats for walking out of a UN Security Council meeting after Libya's ambassador compared conditions in the Gaza Strip to Nazi concentration camps.
"They did what was called for in such a situation and we applaud that,"
said foreign ministry spokesman Arye Mekel.
"We are very concerned about what happened yesterday at the UN Security Council, which was taken hostage by irresponsible countries that have in the past been linked to terrorism."
On Wednesday, French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert walked out of the meeting, followed by his Western colleagues, in protest over remarks by Libyan counterpart Giadalla Ettalhi, who compared the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza to Nazi death camps during World War II, diplomats said.
The incident brought an abrupt end to the meeting, which was discussing a compromise statement on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Israel imposed a punishing blockade on Gaza after the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the Palestinian territory in June, ousting forces loyal to moderate Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Abbas was in Washington Thursday for talks with US President George W. Bush to press for progress in the slow-moving Middle East peace talks.
[AFP / Expatica]