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4th Security Council session on Gaza violence ends with no result

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

The UN Security Council chambers in New York. (Norway Mission to the UN/Twitter)
The UN Security Council chambers in New York. (Norway Mission to the UN/Twitter)

The UN Security Council emergency meeting earlier today on the situation in Gaza ended without any result, four diplomats involved in the meeting tell The Times of Israel.

The closed-door session was the fourth in nine days held by the top UN body and came a day after the US blocked a joint statement by calling for a ceasefire for the third consecutive time.

While the Norwegian, Chinese and Tunisian missions that called the meeting did so to increase international pressure for a ceasefire, two Security Council diplomats say they weren’t sure why a fourth consultation was held, given that the sides knew that the US position would not budge in the two days that passed since the last session.

During the closed meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield defended the Biden administration’s position against a joint statement from the Security Council, insisting that it would not help lower tensions on the ground.

“We have not been silent and neither have you,” Thomas-Greenfield told member states, according to a diplomat involved, confirming Reuters’ reporting.

Unlike previous meetings on the matter since the escalation started, the UN’s Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland wasn’t even available to brief member states on the situation on the ground as he was busy this morning. Instead, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, who is currently in New York, briefed the council.

Norway’s mission has continued to call for the council to “speak with one voice” on the escalation in Gaza, but with the US insistent on pursuing its own avenues in order to bring about a ceasefire, the top UN body has been placed in a “wait and see mode” for the time being, one diplomat says.

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly will be meeting for the first time on the same topic and a majority of countries are expected to voice solidarity with the Palestinians, call for a ceasefire and criticize Israel. There is not yet an expectation that the meeting will include an effort to pass a resolution on the matter, diplomats said.

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