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Walkout at U.N. over Gaza remark

From a Times Staff Writer

The United States, France and Britain walked out of a Security Council debate on the Middle East on Wednesday after Libya compared the situation in the Gaza Strip to that of Nazi “concentration camps,” diplomats said.

French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert plucked off his translation earpiece and walked out, followed by his two colleagues, after Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi made the statement.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told reporters, “Unfortunately, those who complain of being victims of genocide [during World War II] are repeating the same kind of genocide against the Palestinians.”

“The issue for us is to see the Security Council properly involved in finding solutions” to the crisis, in particular “the Israeli persecution of the Palestinians,” he said.

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The incident occurred as the 15-member council was trying to agree on a compromise statement that would have highlighted the dire situation in the Gaza Strip while contributing to efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

Angela Kane, United Nations assistant secretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council on Wednesday morning that the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Gaza could spark regional insecurity for Palestinians, Israel and Egypt.


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