US Blocking Third Attempt to Issue Joint UNSC Statement on Israel-Gaza Violence

A wide view of members of the Security Council during a meeting on January 6. (Courtesy)
A wide view of members of the Security Council during a meeting on January 6. (Courtesy)

The United States is again blocking attempts at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to pass a joint resolution condemning the violent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, The Times of Israel reports citing two diplomats.

An emergency UNSC meeting was held on Sunday to discuss the ongoing hostilities between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Most of the countries participating in the virtual meeting urged both sides to agree to a ceasefire.

The Times of Israel reported on Sunday that a joint statement criticizing both sides for the ongoing violence was proposed by Norway, Tunisia and China following the virtual UNSC emergency session. However, the US blocked the statement.

Two UNSC diplomats told the newspaper that member states have until Monday noon to wrap up negotiations over the joint statement.

This is the third time in a week that the UNSC holds an emergency session over Israel-Gaza violence. During the previous two meetings, attempts to pass a joint resolution calling for a ceasefire were blocked by the US, which asked for more time for its own diplomatic efforts.

A US official told The Times of Israel commenting on the impasse that the US remains “focused on the intensive diplomatic efforts underway, including those Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield discussed at today’s Security meeting.”

During the Sunday emergency session, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called on UNSC to “unequivocally” condemn Hamas’ attacks and support Israel’s right to defend itself. Erdan said that Palestine’s Hamas premeditated the ongoing escalation in Gaza to gain political power.

Meanwhile Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Maliki said that Palestinians were not going to remain silent amid Israeli “occupation,” as Israel continues to “terrorize” Palestinians who are being denied the same right to security that Israel is now demanding for itself.

According to a Sputnik correspondent, dozens of people gathered at the UN headquarters in New York City on Sunday, calling on the United Nations to take some action and support Palestine amid the sharp escalation of the conflict with Israel.

The current escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started earlier this month, when unrest began in East Jerusalem over an Israeli court’s decision to evict several Palestinian families from the area. The situation on the border between Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip has been deteriorating for the past week amid heavy rocket exchanges that have resulted in the death of nearly 200 Palestinians, including 58 children. Israel has reported 10 people killed and 50 others seriously injured, while the Palestinian Red Crescent says that more than 1,300 Palestinians have been injured amid tensions with Israel.

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