For the second time this week, the US blocked on Wednesday a statement from the UN Security Council on the ongoing Israeli violence against Palestinians. Media reports say 14 out of 15 of the UN Security Council members were in favor of the statement, and only the US opposed it.
According to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, the statement “expressed deep concern about the latest situation in Gaza, and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities,” and further “expressed concern about the tensions and violence in East Jerusalem, especially in and around the holy sites.”
Sources told The Times of Israel that the US expressed to other Security Council members that such a statement would be “unhelpful” in de-escalating the situation. Wednesday’s Security Council meeting was the second emergency session this week.
On Monday, Norway 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 US and UK reportedly requested the addition of amendments to Norway’s statement condemning the rocket fire coming out of Gaza, which was added. But the US still ultimately blocked the statement.
In a sign of growing frustration with the US, four Security Council members from Europe released a joint statement on the situation after Wednesday’s meeting. The statement from Norway, Estonia, France, and Ireland condemned the rocket fire out of Gaza but also took aim at Israeli airstrikes that have killed Palestinian children and called for Israel to stop settlement activity in East Jerusalem, which sparked the violence.
“The large numbers of civilian casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza, are both worrying and unacceptable,” the statement said. “We call on Israel to cease settlement activities, demolitions, and evictions, including in East Jerusalem.”
It’s no surprise that the US is blocking these statements. During Senate confirmation hearings in January, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Biden’s representative to the UN, vowed to work against anti-Israel resolutions at the UN. “I look forward to standing with Israel, standing against the unfair targeting of Israel, the relentless resolutions proposed against Israel unfairly,” she said.