U.N. Security Council fails to produce statement on Israel attack

The United Nations Security Council on Sunday failed to produce a statement on Hamas' attack on Israel. File Photo by Jason Szenes/UPI
The United Nations Security Council on Sunday failed to produce a statement on Hamas' attack on Israel. File Photo by Jason Szenes/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 9 (UPI) -- An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council has failed to produce a joint statement concerning the attack on Israel, despite the United States calling on member nations to condemn Hamas.

At least 1,100 people, including 413 Palestinians and some 700 Israelis, have been killed since Hamas launched a surprise multi-prong attack on Israel on Saturday, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to launch retaliatory strikes and declare war against the militant and political group that overseas the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.


The emergency meeting was convened in New York City on Sunday afternoon. Before it was held, Robert Wood, the alternate permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, said he expected all 15 member states to condemn Hamas' attack.


After the closed-door meeting, during which they received an on-the-ground briefing from U.N. Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland, Wood told the reporters "a good number of countries" did heed the United States' call to condemn Hamas but not all did, suggesting that Russia was one of them.

"You could probably figure out one of them without me saying anything," he said, explaining he would not detail what occurred in the meeting.

Unanimity is needed for the U.N. Security Council to produce a statement.

China's permanent representative of Zhang Jun told reporters that Beijing was in favor of the council issuing a statement and that it "condemns all attacks against civilians."

Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, permanent representative of the United Arab Emirates, which is one of the 10 non-permanent members of the council, said she expects there to be "many more meetings" on the matter shortly.

The attack by Hamas was launched following an increase in Israeli violence directed at Gaza and further encroachment on Palestinian land in the illegally occupied West Bank.

In late August, Wennesland said that more than 200 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis had been killed so far this year in demonstrations, clashes, military operations and attacks, surpassing last year's death toll.


He told the Security Council in the August meeting that the violence was fueled by a growing despair about the future, and the lack of progress toward a political solution has created a dangerous, volatile vacuum "filled by extremists on both sides."

Hamas has been the de facto government of Gaza since it expelled the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

Riyad Mansour, ambassador of the permanent observer mission of the State of Palestine, which did not participate in the meeting, told reporters they have repeatedly warned the U.N. Security Council of the consequences of inaction on Israeli impunity and international inaction on the violence its people are subjected to.

"This is not a time for Israel to double down on its terrible choices; this is a time to tell Israel it needs to change course, that there is a path to peace where neither Palestinians nor Israelis are killed," he said.

"Israel keeps saying the blockade and repeated assaults on Gaza are to destroy Hamas' military capabilities and ensure security. Clearly and expectedly, its blockade and assaults accomplished neither," he said.

"The only thing they did accomplish was inflicting terrible suffering on an entire civilian population. It is time for an immediate end to the violence and the bloodshed and it's time to end this blockade and to open a political horizon."


On the other hand, an irate Gilad Erdan, the permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, which also did not participate in the meeting, frequently compared the attack to that perpetrated against Jews by Nazi Germany and called it Israel's 9/11, the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City.

He told reporters that Hamas was executing a "pogrom."

"What we are witnessing is war crimes -- blatant, barbaric war crimes," he said.

"This is Israel's 9/11."

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