Libya rescinds bid for UN condemnation of Israeli blockade on Gaza

Amid U.S. pressure, Libya on Tuesday gave up its efforts to draft a presidential declaration in the UN Security Council condemning Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip.

Libya, who this month assumed the rotating presidency of the Security Council, has been trying to draft a presidential declaration condemning Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the subsequent “humanitarian crisis”.

The Libyans, however, were met by American resistance who demanded that the statement also include criticism of the Palestinian Qassam fire.

The Libyans tried to negotiate a more balanced statement, which would condemn Israel while expressing concern regarding the Qassam fire.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni instructed the Israeli embassy in Washington and its representatives in the UN not to enter negotiations on the issue as long as Israel’s actions in Gaza are mentioned.

A fierce diplomatic battle took place in the past week over the issue. In the end, the Libyans could not reach an agreement regarding the presidential statement and removed it from their agenda.

UN sources said that Arab diplomats will convene in the upcoming hours in order to discuss the possibility of calling for an emergency UN assembly meeting in order to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Last week, under pressure from Syria, Libya withheld support for a Security Council draft declaration which included an unprecedented condemnation of Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.