US slams Israel ahead of UNSC ceasefire meeting | Israel-Palestine conflict news
Senior officials from the United States have been targeting the lack of criticism of Israel’s conduct in its war on Gaza as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) prepares to meet.
The council is expected to meet on Friday to discuss a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the two-month war. Despite Washington’s warnings to Israel, it is likely that the US will not accept the resolution.
“It remains imperative that Israel place a premium on civilian protection,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference on Thursday, referring to Israel’s increased offensive in Gaza. More than 17,000 people have been killed in the siege and 1.8 million Palestinians have been forced from their homes during the war against Hamas.
“There’s still a gap between … the intention to protect civilians and the actual results we’re seeing on the ground,” Blinken said.
Speaking separately by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordanian King Abdullah, US President Joe Biden “stressed the dire need to protect civilians and separate the civilian population from Hamas, giving his -enter through corridors that allow people to move safely from certain areas of hostility. ”, the White House said.
However, on a call with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant on Friday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin again offered “permanent support for Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorism”, according to the White House.
Israel has said that they are doing everything they can to get civilians out of harm’s way and that they are targeting only Hamas, the armed group that rules the Gaza Strip.
But UN officials and rights groups have repeatedly said there is no safe place for civilians in the besieged enclave and have condemned Israel’s ongoing offensive as “genocide”.
Calls for a ceasefire grow
The UNSC is expected to meet Friday morning in New York to vote on a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The document was drafted by the United Arab Emirates, which is a temporary member of the 15-nation council, the UN’s highest decision-making body.
The renewed push for a ceasefire was made by Arab states after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter on Wednesday. This move formally warns the Security Council of the global threat of war. Guterres, who has repeatedly called for a humanitarian ceasefire, is to brief the council.
In order to be adopted, a resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and there will be no obstruction from the five permanent members of the council – the US, Russia, China, France and Britain.
The US, Israel’s main supporter, which continues to send billions of dollars in military aid to the country, has repeatedly opposed a ceasefire and blocked the resolutions of the Former DA wants to stop fighting.
The human rights group Amnesty International urged the US not to suspend the resolution.
By introducing Article 99, Guterres is “singing a warning bell that must be heeded,” Amnesty Secretary General Agnes Callamard said on Thursday.
“[Guterres is] conveying to the world, in the strongest terms, grave concern about the potentially catastrophic and irreversible impact of Israel’s ceaseless bombing of the Gaza Strip. Bloodshed and suffering have reached an unprecedented intensity and scale,” she said.
‘Made a monster’
But critics are skeptical that the Article 99 application will produce results when the Security Council meets.
“The US will veto any resolution calling for a ceasefire, no matter how carefully worded,” Ian Wilson, a lecturer in politics and security studies at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, told Al Jazeera.
“The US has vetoed 46 resolutions, including those condemning Israel’s illegal occupation of the Golan Heights. They completely despise the order based on the rules they say they say. The US always bans anything that wants to ban Israel. “
Ahmed Bedier, president of the civil society group United Voices for America, said the US has put itself “in a difficult position” by supporting Israel’s hard-line prime minister.
“The Biden administration at the beginning of this gave full support, full support to the Netanyahu government, what they are doing, and now they are trying to bring it in,” he said. “In a way, they let a monster go and they can’t take them back.”