An Arab League decision on Sunday to urge the U.N. Security Council to enforce a “no-fly” zone over the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip stands in sharp contrast to its silence on the situation in Syria, where rights groups say more than 170 people have been killed in anti-government unrest since mid-March, at least 37 of them since Friday.
The 22-member Arab League made the call at an emergency meeting in Cairo, convened at the request of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. According to Syria’s national SANA news agency, the no-fly zone proposal originated from the Syrian delegation to the League.
The appeal came four weeks after the Arab League, in an unprecedented move, asked the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, to protect civilians facing attack by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. That call, which Syria and Algeria opposed at the time, provided the impetus for the subsequent Security Council resolution and military intervention in Libya led by the U.S., France and Britain.
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