"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
Ambassador Danforth calls on Palestinians, Israelis to "stop the shooting"
Both Palestinians and Israelis should stop the cycle of violence and return to the Mideast Quartet-backed road map for peace, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth said October 4.
Addressing a public meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the violence in Gaza, Danforth said, "Obviously if Palestinian terrorists shoot at Israelis, Israelis are going to shoot back. And what the Security Council should say, if it says anything, should be said to both sides. And the message should be: ‘Stop the shooting and return to the road map.'"
The council held an emergency session at the request of the group of Arab states to discuss Israeli incursions in northern Gaza and to take action by demanding a cessation of military operations and withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area. Meanwhile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan October 4 called on Israel to halt its military incursions into the Gaza Strip and urged the Palestinian Authority to press militants to hold their fire.
Danforth said a draft resolution proposed by Algeria "is yet one more step on the road to nowhere" because it serves to put the United Nations in the position of adversary to Israel and cheerleader for the Palestinians.
"It's the position of the U.S. delegation that we should not simply pass resolution after resolution, which are all one-sided, but that we should insist again that the road map is the way to peace," the ambassador said.
The Quartet refers to the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Following is the text of the ambassador's remarks:
USUN PRESS RELEASE
October 4, 2004
Statement by Ambassador John C. Danforth, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, on the Situation in the Middle East, in the Security Council
Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much.
With great respect for the representative from Algeria, the resolution that is being presented to us is not the roadmap to peace. It is yet one more step on the road to nowhere.
Many speakers today have spoken about the cycle of violence and that is exactly what it is. One side acts, the other side reacts, then more reaction and more violence. And round and round it goes. And unfortunately the United Nations, both the General Assembly and the Security Council, instead of saying stop it to both sides, acts as the adversary of Israel and the cheerleader of the Palestinians. That is not the way to peace. That is not the roadmap to peace.
Now let's discuss briefly the facts that are before us. The problem of Qassam rockets is not a new one; it goes back a long time. This past summer, attacks began to inflict casualties on Israeli citizens. Last June, these rockets killed two Israelis, one of whom was three years old. Last Wednesday, September 29th, Qassam rockets killed two Israeli children, one age 2, one age 4. With this act, Hamas claimed credit for what it called 'victory over the enemy,' the enemy being a two-year old child and a four-year old child. After two years passed, after the death of children, it is not unreasonable that Israel felt the need to respond. And it did. And the cycle of violence continues, so that today two more rockets have been fired into Israeli territory. Qassam rockets are easy to produce, easy to deploy, they're easy to launch and they've become a weapon of choice for terrorists.
So now the issue is so where do we go from here. And it's the position of the U.S. delegation that we should not simply pass resolution after resolution, which are all one-sided, but that we should insist again that the roadmap is the way to peace. Obviously if Palestinian terrorists shoot at Israelis, Israelis are going to shoot back. And what the Security Council should say, if it says anything, should be said to both sides. And the message should be stop the shooting and return to the roadmap.
Thank you, Mr. President.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)