Arab League to ask UN for no-fly zone in Gaza: Chief

Arab League chief Amr Mussa said the organisation will ask the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza.

Last Updated: Apr 10, 2011, 21:44 PM IST

Cairo: Arab League chief Amr Mussa said
today the organisation will ask the UN Security Council to
impose a no-fly zone over Gaza, which Israel has pounded with
air strikes in response to rocket fire.

Mussa told an emergency meeting of Arab League
ambassadors that "the Arab bloc in the United Nations has been
directed to ask for the convention of the Security Council to
stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and impose a no-fly zone."

Israeli and Palestinian officials were today floating
a ceasefire to end fighting in the coastal strip where Israeli
air strikes have killed at least 18 people since Thursday.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has
warned of an even stronger response if more rockets are fired
from the Palestinian territory controlled by the Islamist
movement Hamas.

The flare-up came after an anti-tank missile fired
from Gaza hit an Israeli school bus on Thursday, wounding two
people, one of them critically.

Even if Arab representatives at the United Nations
succeed in convening a Security Council meeting, the United
States, a close ally of Israel, is likely to veto it.

The Arab League request for a no-fly zone over Gaza
may have been inspired by a UN-sanctioned aerial blockade for
Libya to halt forces loyal to Moamer Kadhafi harming
civilians.

Arab League backing for that no-fly zone was seen as
crucially important by the United States when it pressed for a
UN resolution that authorised it and other countries to keep
Libyan planes grounded.

PTI