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US blocks third draft UN statement on Mideast violence — diplomats

The United States blocks — for the third time in a week — the adoption of a joint UN Security Council statement calling for a halt to Israeli-Palestinian violence and the protection of civilians, diplomats say.

The text drafted by China, Tunisia and Norway and calling for the “cessation of violence and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, especially children,” was submitted late Sunday for approval today by the Council’s 15 members.

The United States indicates that it “could not currently support an expression” by the Security Council, one diplomat tells AFP.

The draft resolution did not include an explicit condemnation of Hamas for firing rockets at Israeli civilians.

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