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World

AFP
May 17, 2021

Three times in a week: US blocks draft UN statement on Israel's attack on Palestinians

AFP
Mon, May 17, 2021
Israeli soldiers fire a 155mm self-propelled howitzer towards the Gaza Strip from their position along the border with the Palestinian enclave, on May 17, 2021. — AFP

For the third time in a week, the United States on Monday blocked the adoption of a joint UN Security Council statement calling for a halt to Israeli-Palestinian violence and the protection of civilians, diplomats said.

The text drafted by China, Tunisia, and Norway was submitted late Sunday for approval Monday by the Council's 15 members, as Israeli jets continued to pound the Gaza Strip and the death toll from a week of violence passed 200.

The United States indicated that they "could not currently support an expression" by the Security Council, one diplomat told AFP.

The text, obtained by AFP, called for "de-escalation of the situation, cessation of violence and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, especially children."

It voiced the Council's "grave concern" at the Gaza crisis and its "serious concern" regarding the possible eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, opposing "unilateral actions" likely to further escalate tensions.

The draft also welcomed international efforts to de-escalate the situation, without reference to the United States, and reiterated the Council's support for a negotiated two-state solution allowing Israelis and Palestinians to "live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders."