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After blocking Security Council statement, US hints it wouldn’t have supported its ceasefire efforts

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

The UN Security Council holds an emergency session on the violence in Israel and Gaza on May 16, 2021. (Screen capture/UN)
The UN Security Council holds an emergency session on the violence in Israel and Gaza on May 16, 2021. (Screen capture/UN)

NEW YORK — After blocking the passage of a UN Security Council joint statement on the escalation in Gaza, an official at the US mission suggests to The Times of Israel that it would not have helped its own efforts to broker a ceasefire.

“As we have communicated consistently to council members over the last week, the US is engaging in intense diplomatic efforts at the highest levels to try to bring an end to this conflict. The US has a role in ensuring any council statement supports these efforts,” the official says.

“We are continuing to focus on crucial diplomatic efforts underway in the region, in Washington and in New York to develop a pathway to de-escalation and remain prepared to lend our support and good offices should the parties seek a ceasefire,” the official adds.

Asked about the matter earlier today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded, “Will any given action, will any given statement actually, as a practical matter, advance the prospects for ending the violence or not? And that’s the judgment we have to make each time.”

“If we think that there’s something, including at the United Nations, that would effectively advance that, we would be for it. We thought it was very important the other day to have this open discussion where the parties could put forward their views, their concerns, and be heard. And we’ll continue to look for ways to advance the goal that we have, which is ending the violence,” he adds.

The statement blocked by the US, obtained by ToI earlier today, called for an immediate ceasefire, effectively criticized violence on both sides but made no specific mention of Hamas rocket fire

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