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Draft Security Council statement being blocked by US doesn’t mention Hamas rockets

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

NEW YORK — The draft joint Security Council statement currently being blocked by the US makes no explicit mention of Hamas rocket fire in Gaza.

The Times of Israel obtained a copy of the draft statement. It expressed the council’s “grave concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties, and called for de-escalation of the situation, cessation of violence and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, especially children.”

“The Members of the Security Council emphasized that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected, called on all parties to act consistently with this principle and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza,” the statement reads.

In this July 20, 2015, file photo, members of the Security Council vote at United Nations headquarters on the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers. (AP/Seth Wenig, File)

“The Members of the Security Council welcomed all efforts to de-escalate and to reach a ceasefire agreement, including from regional states and the Middle East Quartet, and urged all actors to support these efforts,” it continues.

The members express concern regarding recent violence in Jerusalem, calling for maintaining the status quo at holy sites and “the right of Muslim worshipers to pray in peace at Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

They also express serious concern regarding the looming Israeli eviction of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan “and voiced opposition to unilateral actions, which will only escalate the already tense environment.”

The draft statement concludes with members reiterating their support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and urging “the intensification and acceleration of diplomatic efforts and support towards this aim.”

The lack of mentioning of Hamas rocket fire from Gaza may offer one of the reasons the US — which has been heavily critical of the matter — has been initially refusing to back it.

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