According to a report from The Times of Israel, the US blocked the UN Security Council from releasing a joint statement on the ongoing violence against Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
Diplomatic sources told the Times that Norway’s mission introduced a proposal for a joint statement urging Israel to stop the looming evictions of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
The proposed statement also would have called for “restraint” and respect for “the historic status quo at the holy sites,” a response to Israeli police storming al-Aqsa mosque and wounding hundreds of Palestinians with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The statement also condemned Israeli settlements. It called on Israel to “cease settlement activities, demolitions and evictions, including in east Jerusalem in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law” and refrain from unilateral steps “that exacerbate tensions and undermine the viability of the two-state solution.”
The report said 14 out of the 15 Security Council members supported the statement. But the US ultimately blocked it by calling for more time to deliberate. Two diplomats told the Times that the US mission said, “Such a step might not be useful at this time.”
Before blocking the statement, the US insisted amendments be added to condemn the incendiary balloons and rockets that have been fired out of Gaza in recent days. US officials have publicly condemned the projectiles launched from Gaza that did minimal damage but have refused to denounce Israel’s escalations.
On Monday, Israeli airstrikes pounded Gaza, killing 20, including nine children. Witnesses said the airstrikes targeted crowded residential neighborhoods.