A third meeting of the United Nations Security Council this week ended with no concrete outcome after the United States blocked a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
The meeting came after US reportedly twice blocked over the last week resolutions that would have condemned Israel’s military response and called for a ceasefire.
Nearly 200 people, including 58 children, have been killed in the intense bombing of the besieged enclave of two million people.
Israel has justified its bombing campaign as a retaliation to rocket attacks by Hamas fighters. But the Gaza-based Hamas movement said its actions were a response to the Israeli policy of forced displacement of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces last week.
US President Joe Biden repeatedly stressed Israel’s right to defend itself. Critics, including members of Biden’s party, have accused the administration of whitewashing Israeli strikes
US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told the emergency meeting that the US was “working tirelessly through diplomatic channels” to stop the fighting.
“The United States has made clear that we are prepared to lend our support and good offices should the parties seek a ceasefire,” she said.
The US, China, France, Russia and United Kingdom are all permanent members of the security council, giving them veto power over joint statements. China had previously called out the US as being the sole dissenting voice on the issue.