UN Security Council calls on Israel & Palestinians to stick to ceasefire; stops short of condemning violence because of US

22 May, 2021

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has urged Tel Aviv and the Palestinian militants in Gaza to fully comply with the recently agreed ceasefire in its first statement since the latest escalation broke out.

The Security Council members called for “full adherence to the ceasefire” reached between Israel and the Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza strip following 11 days of a violent standoff. It also pointed to the “immediate need for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza.”

The first statement issued by the UNSC on the latest flareup of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not contain any condemnations of the acts of violence, though.

A previous draft reportedly said that “Security Council members condemned all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as acts of provocation, incitement and destruction.” It also voiced concerns about “tensions and violence in east Jerusalem” and called on both sides to respect “the historic status quo at the holy sites.”

According to AFP, the passages were removed since earlier drafts were blocked by the US delegation that received a praise from Israel on Saturday. Tel Aviv lauded Washington for “its continued support for Israel and its right to defend its citizens.”

Israel also placed full blame for the conflict on the Hamas militants in Gaza and said that it expects the international community to “condemn and disarm Hamas, and ensure Gaza’s rehabilitation while preventing the diversion of funds and weapons to terrorism.”

Previously, the US also reportedly blocked a French draft demanding an immediate halt to hostilities and unimpeded distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was raging on.

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The conflict between Hamas and Israel Defense Force (IDF) broke out as the militants launched thousands of rockets at Israeli territory. The IDF responded by massive airstrikes targeting Gaza. The hostilities were preceded by massive protests in Jerusalem sparked over an Israeli court case regarding the decision to evict several Palestinian families from a local neighborhood.

The 11-day violent standoff claimed lives of more than 200 Palestinians, including dozens of children as well as 12 Israelis, including one child. According to the UN, at least 6,000 people living on the territory controlled by Hamas were left homeless because of the conflict.

Published at www.rt.com