- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 5, 2004

From combined dispatches

TEL AVIV — Israel has arrested 13 U.N. employees and plans to indict them for “suspected links to terrorism,” an Israeli army officer said yesterday.

Maj. Gen. Yisrael Ziv, speaking to reporters, did not say when they were arrested.

His comments came amid accusations by Israel that Palestinian militants had used a U.N. ambulance in Gaza to transport a rocket to be fired at Israel.

“We have in our hands a list of 13 detainees who are to be indicted. They are U.N. people with suspected links to terrorism,” Gen. Ziv said.

An Israeli official at the United Nations in New York said the 13 U.N. employees had been arrested over a period of time, not in a single operation.

Also in New York, the United States yesterday vetoed an Arab-backed resolution demanding an immediate end to military operations in the northern Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 11 in favor and one against, with Britain, Germany and Romania abstaining.

U.S. Ambassador John Danforth cast the U.S. veto after British and German efforts to find compromise language failed.

“Once again, the resolution is lopsided and unbalanced,” Mr. Danforth told the council just before voting “no.”

Israel launched the Gaza offensive in an attempt to prevent Palestinian rocket attacks against nearby Israeli towns that killed two children last week.

At least 68 Palestinians have been killed in the six-day-old assault.

Prior to the vote, Mr. Danforth criticized the resolution because it made no mention of Palestinian terrorists who shoot rockets into Israel and kill children.

In Brazil, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell urged Israel to end its operations in Gaza. While acknowledging that Israel had found a need to respond to Palestinian rocket attacks, Mr. Powell said: “I hope that this operation can come to a conclusion quickly.”

In continued fighting yesterday, an Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a car in Gaza City, killing a militant leader and another militant and lightly wounding three bystanders, witnesses and hospital officials said.

One missile hit the car, killing the two men inside and setting the vehicle ablaze, witnesses and hospital officials said. The second missile missed.

The militant group Islamic Jihad identified those killed as Bashir Aldabash, 40, one of its top officials in Gaza, and a group member, Zarees Alareer. The Israeli army had no immediate comment.

Late yesterday, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at armed Hamas fighters in the Jebaliya refugee camp, killing two militants and wounding three, witnesses and Palestinian security sources said. The men were preparing to attack Israeli forces, according to the witnesses and security sources.

• Betsy Pisik contributed to this report from New York.

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