Israel has lauded the BIden administration for blocking a UN statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the Independent has reported.
On Monday, the US rejected for the third time to the draft of a statement that would have called for a deescalation of violence and expressed concern over the loss of civilian lives, and those injured in more than a week of violence.
While the US has a long history of stopping criticism of Israel in official UN statements, even regularly using its veto power to do so, there was a hope the US would sign on to a statement that called for both Israel and Hamas to act to prevent further casualties.
“My sincere thanks to the US administration and in particular to @SecDef
Lloyd Austin, with whom I spoke this week, for rightly preventing the unjust UN Security Council statement criticising Israel’s actions in Gaza,” he wrote.
“While Hamas, a terror organization, targets our civilians and commits war crimes, our aims are solely to dismantle terror infrastructure and protect our people. This criticism of Israel is hypocritical and detrimental to the global fight against terror.”
On Monday, the White House said Mr Biden had spoken with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and voiced “support” for a ceasefire. The US president, who has long record of being a strident defender of Israel, is to have dressed his belief in Israel’s right to defend itself, but also welcomed efforts to address intercommunal violence and to bring calm to Jerusalem.
The phone conversation between the two leaders and strategic allies, came as the violence in the Middle East, triggered by a series of events including long-simmering outcry over Israel’s efforts to force Palestinian families to leave East Jerusalem, entered its second week.
At least 212 people, including 61 children, have lots their lives in Gaza, and 10, including two children, in Israel. There have been nightly clashes in Jerusalem between police and Palestinian protesters.
Hamas, a militant group that has controlled Gaza since 2007, has been firing rockets into Israel. Israel’s military – modern and powerful – has been pounding Gaza with air strikes and bombing runs. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, the US has provided it with $146 billion in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. In 2019, that figure was around $4bn, and in recent years all that aid was in the form of military assistance.
But for the third time in a week, the US said it would not agree to the statement.
Late on Monday night, Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, posted a tweet thanking the US for its actions.