Arab League to ask UN for imposing no-fly zone over Gaza

Arab World Materials 11 April 2011 01:01 (UTC +04:00)

The Arab League (AL) said on Sunday it would ask the United Nations to consider imposing a no-fly zone over the Gaza Stripe to protect the civilians against Israeli air strikes, Xinhua reported.

In a statement issued after an emergency meeting of the pan- Arab organization at the permanent delegates' level in its Cairo headquarter, the AL said it would ask the United Nation Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the Israeli aggression over Gaza to lift the siege and impose a no-fly zone against the Israeli military to protect civilians.

The statement rejected the double standard policies towards the Palestinian case, urging the UN Security Council and the Quartet committee to bear all responsibilities for halting the subsequent massacres and provide an international protection for the unarmed citizens.

The AL also called upon the international community to take all necessary measures and procedures to deter Israel from continuing committing war crimes against humanity.Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa affirmed after the meeting that the Arabs' stand toward the Palestinian cause remains steadfast despite the recent incidents engulfing some Arab countries.

The AL meeting was held upon a request from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the Israeli attacks in Gaza.Since Thursday, Israeli artillery and helicopters have been shelling different locations across the Gaza strip, killing about 19 Palestinians and injuring 62 others.

Through the Security Council, the Palestinians want " international sanctions on Israel to force it to stop escalation in Gaza and the campaign of terror in the West Bank," said Saleh Ra'fat, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization on Sunday.

Violence in Gaza started when Hamas, which holds sway there, fired a rocket at an Israeli school bus, critically wounding a 16- year-old student. Hamas later said it did not know the bus was carrying students.

Ahmad Bahar, a Hamas official, said on Sunday that his movement hopes the AL would take practical decisions stopping the Israeli attacks and supporting the Palestinians. He also called for the lifting of Israeli closure that was imposed on Gaza when Hamas seized control there in 2007.