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UN Security Council fails to reach consensus on condemnation of Hamas

October 9, 2023 at 11:02 am

A general view from the a U.N. Security Council meeting at UN Headquarters in New York, United States on July 18, 2023. [Fatih Aktaş – Anadolu Agency]

The US has expressed its regret at the inability of the UN Security Council to reach a consensus on condemnation of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in its emergency, closed meeting. Before the session opened, the US called on all members of the Security Council to condemn the Hamas attack on Israel.

“There are a good number of countries that condemned the Hamas attacks, but obviously not all,” said Assistant US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood after the session. “You could probably figure out one of them without me saying anything.” This was an apparent reference to Russia, whose relations with the West have deteriorated sharply since its invasion of Ukraine.

According to diplomats, no country has put forward a proposal to issue a joint statement. The Security Council has often been divided on the Palestinian issue.

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“My message was to stop the fighting immediately and to go to a ceasefire and to meaningful negotiations, which has been said for decades,” said Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. “This is partly the result of unresolved issues.”

His Chinese counterpart, Zhang Jun, said that, “China condemns all violence and attacks against civilians,” and stressed the need to return to the peace process to achieve a two-state solution.

Diplomatic sources said that council members are considering issuing a joint statement, but discussions are difficult.

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said that Israel has just one request for the Security Council: “This unimaginable, unimaginable atrocity must be condemned. Israel must be given steadfast support to defend ourselves; to defend the free world.”

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The Palestinian Permanent Representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, responded by saying: “Regrettably, history for some media and politicians only starts when Israelis are killed. We will never accept a rhetoric that denigrates our humanity and reneges our rights, a rhetoric that ignores the occupation of our land and oppression of our people. This is not a time to let Israel double down on its terrible choices. This is a time to tell Israel it needs to change course, that there is a path to peace where neither Palestinians nor Israelis are killed.”

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