New York, NY, United States (4E) – The U.S. on Tuesday blocked a draft United Nations Security Council statement calling for an end to the Gaza conflict citing that it counter efforts to reach a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
The U.S. letter to the council said the draft statement that Morocco proposed Thursday does not mention rocket attacks into Israel. The U.S., Britain, France and Germany believe that rockets fired by Gaza militants started the conflict.
The U.S. letter also said the draft statement fails to contribute to the diplomatic resolution of the conflict now on its sixth day.
Russia had warned it will issue a resolution in lieu of the statement if the latter is not approved by council members by Tuesday. However, a resolution is likely to be vetoed by the U.S., which is Israel’s ally.
The council held an emergency meeting on the Gaza conflict last week after Palestinian and some Arab diplomats strongly criticized the council for failing to speak on the crisis. Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour said the council should stop the Israeli aggression against Gazans.
But the council took no action during the meeting. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said any draft statement on the issue should support a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.