By Anadolu Agency
WASHINGTON: UN Security Council (UNSC)’s open debate on the tensions between Israel and Palestine amid the former’s attacks in Gaza ended with no concrete outcome.
This third session of the top UN body this week came after the US’s two moves to block a joint statement that would condemn Israel for the violence and call for a cease-fire.
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 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 house and is terrorizing our family, it destroys our homes, oppresses our people, generation after generation,” Maliki said.
Permanent Representative of Israel to 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 farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace,” Guterres said.
In her speech, US Ambassador to 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.”
China asks US to adjust its position
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the US to “adjust” its position on Israel-Palestine tensions.
He said because of the obstruction of the US, the Security Council has not been able to speak with one voice on Palestine.
“We call upon the US to shoulder its responsibilities, taking adjust position,” the Chinese top diplomat said.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin took the floor, highlighting the necessity of immediately ending the confrontation.
“We believe it is important to urgently hold a meeting of the Middle East quartet of international mediators at the ministerial level,” Vershinin said.
He also said Russia considers the attempts to change the geographical, demographic, and historical character and status of East Jerusalem to be null and void.
Step back from brink, says UK
UK Permanent Representative to UN Barbara Woodward said ongoing violence across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories is deeply concerning and it must stop.
“I repeat my prime minister’s call that both sides step back from the brink and show restraint. This cycle of violence must end,” Woodward said. “The UK remains committed to the two-state solution as the best way to permanently end the occupation and bring peace and stability to the region.”
French representative Nicolas de Riviere urged the Security Council to immediately act to halt the violence in Palestine and Israel.
“This Council must unite to launch a unanimous call for a swift cessation of hostilities. This is the only priority today. And it is our collective responsibility,” said de Riviere. “The real solution is to bring Israel to halt its policy of settlement in the Palestinian territories.”