Netanyahu calls off aides’ DC trip after US abstains on UN Gaza vote; says US hurt war effort, hostage release prospects

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

File: From left to right: Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Council chairman Tzachi Hanegbi at the State Department in Washington on March 7, 2023. (Antony Blinken/Twitter)
File: From left to right: Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Council chairman Tzachi Hanegbi at the State Department in Washington on March 7, 2023. (Antony Blinken/Twitter)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancels the planned trip to Washington by his top aides Ron Dermer and Tzachi Hanegbi after the US  refrained from using a veto to block a UN Security Council resolution backed by Russia and China that called for a ceasefire without conditioning it on the release of hostages.

In a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel says the US is harming the war effort and attempts to free hostages by the decision.

“The US today did not veto the new draft that calls for a ceasefire without conditioning it on the release of the hostages,” it says.

The statement calls the decision “a clear retreat from the consistent US position in the Security Council since the beginning of the war.”

This retreat “harms the war effort and the effort to release the hostages,” it adds, and therefore “gives Hamas hope that international pressure will allow them to get a ceasefire without releasing our hostages.”

Most Popular