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Arab League Wants Gaza No-Fly Zone to Prevent Israel Retaliation

The “no-fly” zone in Libya set a precedent for possible action in Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but instead, the Arab League targets Israel.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/11/2011, 4:07 PM / Last Update: 4/11/2011, 5:23 PM

Flash 90

The “no-fly” zone in Libya set a precedent for possible action in Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but instead, the Arab League has targeted Israel.

The Arab group, which includes the Palestinian Authority as a full member, has called on the United Nations to send airplanes from foreign countries to keep Israel from retaliating for terrorist attacks from Gaza.

The League called Israel’s actions "brutal,” but the Israeli government told Reuters, "If the Arab League wants a no-fly zone in Gaza is it also talking about ground-to-ground missiles that are fired from Gaza on Israeli cities? About missiles fired at school buses? About mortar shells fired at farms?”

When the United Nations Security Council imposed the no-fly zone on Libya, at the behest of the United States, Britain and France, several bloggers immediately commented that the same policy could be demanded of Israel by the mostly pro-Arab Council.

The idea seemed remote at the time, particularly in light of the Muslim uprisings that exposed brute force used by Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain to suppress demonstrations against their regimes.

Ironically, the Arab League not only did not call for a no-fly zone against Muslim countries but also urged Sudan to complain to the United Nations for a missile attack last week that killed two people, at least one of them a senior Hamas terrorist. Sudan has accused Israel of carrying out the counterterrorist operation.

After the no-fly zone was imposed on Libya, Family Security Matters warned that Arab countries would demand that Israeli planes be grounded if terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza began escalating violence, as they did last week.

The idea has zero chance of passing the U.N. Security Council – for the time being. However, if Hamas starts another round of attacks that require Israeli retaliation to protect the lives of Israelis, resulting in any civilian deaths as well as those of  Gaza “militants,” the anti-Israel movement is bound to promote an international campaign in favor of a no-fly zone.

They might not be able to convince the Security Council to impose a no-fly zone in Israel, but their lobby could cause more serious damage to Israel's image in the international community.