Members of the UN Security Council condemn Hamas but without unanimity
Several members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Sunday denounced Hamas for its massive attack against Israel, and the United States regretted the lack of unanimity.
In an emergency session, the United States and Israel urged strong condemnation of the Palestinian Islamists who rule the blockaded Gaza Strip, and who on Saturday launched a surprise attack that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.
Diplomats said the Security Council did not consider making a joint statement, much less a binding resolution, while members led by Russia hoped for a broader approach than condemnation of Hamas.
“My message was to stop the fighting immediately and reach a ceasefire and meaningful negotiations, as has been said for decades,” said Russia’s UN Security Council ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia.
China, Russia’s usual ally on the Council, said it would support a joint statement. “It is not normal for the Security Council to say nothing,” said Ambassador Zhang Jun, who had previously promised Chinese support for condemning “all attacks against civilians.”
Entering the session, Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan showed graphic photographs of Israeli civilians taken captive by Hamas.
“These are war crimes, blatant and documented war crimes,” Erdan said.
The Palestinian ambassador, a representative of the Palestinian Authority based in the West Bank, called on the Security Council to focus on ending the Israeli occupation.
“Unfortunately, the story for some media and politicians begins when Israelis are killed,” said envoy Riyad Mansour.
“This is not the time to allow Israel to double down on its terrible decisions. It is the time to tell Israel that it needs to change course, that there is a path to peace in which neither Palestinians nor Israelis are killed.”
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