US now backs Security Council meet on Sunday to ‘give time for diplomacy’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

After blocking a Security Council meeting for Friday, the US now backs one for Sunday to ‘give time for diplomacy’

“The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the situation in Israel and Gaza on Sunday,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweets.

Her announcement comes hours after her office blocked an effort to hold the week’s third emergency session on Friday, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying it was to “give time for diplomacy” efforts to play out.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr is currently en route to Israel for talks with both sides aimed at bringing about a ceasefire.

“The US will continue to actively engage in diplomacy at the highest levels to try to de-escalate tensions,” Thomas-Greenfield says.

Security Council diplomats tell The Times of Israel that the US had been pushing to hold the meeting only on Tuesday after rejecting the idea of a Friday session.

However, after pressure from Norway, China and Tunisia who requested the meeting along with several other missions, Washington agreed to hold an open session on Sunday.

The emergency meetings on Monday and Wednesday earlier this week had been held behind closed doors. During those sessions, the US blocked an effort by all 14 other member states to issue a joint statement on the violence that condemned both sides.

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