United Nations: The United States called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to issue a strong statement condemning the unprecedented attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel, which killed dozens of people and sparked a fierce Israeli retaliation. The UNSC held an emergency meeting behind closed doors on Sunday to discuss the crisis but did not take any immediate action.
According to US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood, most of the 15 members of the UNSC expressed their outrage at the Hamas attack, which involved thousands of rockets and infiltrators from Gaza into Israeli territory. However, he said that not all members were willing to blame Hamas for the escalation of violence. “We are deeply disappointed that some members of the Security Council did not join us in condemning this unprovoked invasion and terrorist attacks,” Wood said.
Wood did not name the countries that resisted the US proposal, but Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, told the Associated Press news agency that the US accused Russia of not condemning the attacks, which he denied. “I condemned the Hamas attack in my remarks. We condemn all forms of attacks on civilians,” Nebenzia said. He added that Russia’s message was to stop the fighting immediately and resume meaningful negotiations, which have been stalled for decades.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, also condemned all attacks on civilians, without singling out Hamas. He said that it was important to prevent further escalation and civilian casualties and to pursue a two-state solution to the conflict. “The international community should take urgent action to de-escalate the situation and push for a political settlement,” Zhang said.
The two-state solution, which envisages an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security, has been endorsed by the UN, the Arab League, the European Union, Russia, and the US as the best way to resolve the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the prospects for such a solution have dimmed in recent years due to political deadlock, Israeli settlement expansion, and Palestinian division.
Wood said that the US was focused on holding Hamas accountable for its aggression and terrorism against Israel and that Hamas must end its violent activities against the Israeli people. He also reaffirmed the US commitment to Israel’s security and right to self-defense. “We stand with Israel in this difficult time,” Wood said.