The UN Security Council’s (UNSC) recent open debate on the tensions between Israel and Palestine, amid the former’s attacks in Gaza, ended with no concrete outcome.
The third official session of the top UN body this week came after the US’ previous two vetoing of a joint statement condemning Israel for the violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and call for a ceasefire.
The virtual meeting, joined by Israeli and Palestinian officials, was requested by China, Norway, and Tunisia.
In his address, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki described the Israeli attacks on occupied territories of Palestine as “war crimes” and urged the UNSC to impose sanctions and arms embargo on Tel Aviv.
“Israel is the armed thief who has entered our home and is terrorizing our family, it destroys our homes, oppresses our people, generation after generation,” said Maliki.
The Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, Gilad Erdan, blamed Hamas for the violence and accused the group of “carrying out its terror attacks”. “We will take all steps necessary to defend our people,” said Erdan, calling for the Council to condemn Hamas.
During his address, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Israel and Palestine to end the “senseless cycle of bloodshed, terror, and destruction” and return to negotiations for a two-state solution to the conflict.
“The current hostilities are utterly appalling. This latest round of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction, and despair, and pushes any hopes of coexistence and peace further away,” said Guterres.
In her speech, the US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, reiterated the call for all parties to ensure the protection of civilians, and to respect international humanitarian law. “The current cycle of violence must end,” she said.
“The United States has been working tirelessly through diplomatic channels to try to bring an end to this conflict,” she added.