UN Security Council again meets on Israel, US blocks statement

The UN Security Council holds another emergency meeting on worsening hostilities between Israel and Palestinians, again without agreeing on a joint statement due to opposition from the United States, Israel’s key ally, according to diplomats.

The United States sees the Security Council meeting as a sufficient show of concern, one diplomat tells AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The US doesn’t see that a statement will help de-escalate,” says another.

According to several sources, 14 of the 15 members of the Council were in favor of adopting a joint declaration aimed at reducing tension.

The statement would have criticized both Israelis and Palestinians for the ongoing violence, highlighting Hamas rocket fire from Gaza but also criticizing the looming Israeli evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and urged israel to respect the status quo at the capital’s holy sites.

Illustrative: The Security Council meets virtually on January 26, 2020 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Screen capture/United Nations)

UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland warned the meeting that the “situation has deteriorated since Monday… there is a risk of a spiral of violence,” according to a diplomatic source.

During a first emergency meeting on Monday, the United States also refused to back a text proposed by Tunisia, Norway and China calling on all parties to refrain from provocation.

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