The United Nations Security Council has expressed “extreme shock and distress” over the attack on Qana – but stopped short of an outright condemnation. A unanimous statement from the council said it “strongly deplored this loss of innocent lives”. French ambassador to the UN and acting council President Jean Marc Di Sablière said the statement was an important step forward:
“What was important for us was to have the council agreeing on a text, which is an acceptable text, and have the council really engaged: this is important, we have been discussing the issue for weeks now, producing very little results.”
But on Sunday demonstrators ransacked the United Nations headquarters in Beirut in protest at the UN’s perceived inactivity – and the new statement is unlikely to change their opinion. A more forceful resolution supported by Kofi Annan that called for an immediate truce in the conflict was blocked by Washington.