UN Security Council statement on Jerusalem held up by US reluctance to back it

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

Hesitation from the US mission to the United Nations prevented the release of a joint statement by the Security Council’s members on the ongoing escalations in Jerusalem, after the top UN body held an emergency meeting on the subject earlier Monday, a diplomat involved tells The Times of Israel.

During the meeting, the Norwegian mission introduced a joint statement condemning all violence in the holy city and urging both sides to act to restore calm, the Security Council official says. Several amendments were made to the statement, including one that mentioned the firing of rockets and incendiary devices by Gaza Palestinians at Israel.

Fourteen of the 15 members backed the latest draft of the statement, but it failed to move forward after the US asked for more time to deliberate the matter, the  diplomat says.

The Monday morning session featured an update from UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland, and was followed by reactions from various member states, which largely fell in line with their traditional stances on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US and UK representatives present made a point of highlighting violence coming out of Gaza in addition to condemning Israeli crackdowns on protesters in Jerusalem and the looming evictions of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, two diplomats say.

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