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Israel criticizes Arab League call for a no-fly zone over Gaza

February 20, 2014 at 3:32 pm

The Israeli government has expressed its disdain at the Arab League’s decision to approach the United Nations Security Council with a request for a no-fly zone over the Gaza Strip to prevent Israel’s military aircraft from flying over the besieged territory. The Arab League’s move is a response to an escalation of Israeli military activity against Gaza in which 18 Palestinians have been killed and dozens have been wounded in just three days.

Israeli spokesperson Ofir Gendelman told the Palestinian Authority-owned news agency that the government’s position on the Arab League’s request is attributed to the fact that it comes despite a UN, American, and European consensus condemning Palestinian rocket attacks in the south of the 1948-occupied territories.

“Will the Arab League request a no-fly zone to block the missiles fired from Gaza on Israeli cities?” asked Gendelman.

An emergency session of the Arab League was held at its headquarters in Cairo to press for a special UN Security Council session to deal with the Israeli attack on Gaza, end the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and impose a no-fly zone to protect Palestinian civilians.

Commentators have ridiculed Gendelman for equating the rockets fired from Gaza with the massive firepower available to the Israeli air force, with its F-16 fighter bombers and Apache helicopter gunships. “That alone illustrates the failing grasp of reality which Israeli spokespeople have to peddle in their public pronouncements,” said one.