Members of the UN Security Council condemned Hamas but there was no unanimity
Several members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Sunday criticized Hamas for its massive attacks against Israel, and the United States blamed the lack of unity.
In an emergency session, the United States and Israel urged strong condemnation of the Palestinian Islamists who rule the blockaded Gaza Strip and who on Saturday launched a surprise attack that killed more than 1,000 people.
Diplomats said the Security Council was not considering making a joint statement, but rather a binding resolution, while members led by Russia hoped for a broader approach than condemning the Hamas.
“My message is to immediately stop the fighting and reach a ceasefire and meaningful negotiations, as has been said for decades,” said Russia’s UN Security Council ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia.
China, Russia’s usual ally in the Council, said it would support a joint statement. “It is not normal for the Security Council to say nothing,” said Ambassador Zhang Jun, who previously pledged China’s support for condemning “all attacks against civilians.”
Entering the session, Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan showed graphic photos of Israeli civilians held captive by Hamas.
“These are war crimes, clear and documented war crimes,” Erdan said.
The Palestinian ambassador, a representative of the Palestinian Authority based in the West Bank, called on the Security Council to focus on ending the occupation of Israel.
“Unfortunately, the story for some media and politicians begins when Israelis are killed,” said envoy Riyad Mansour.
“This is not the time to allow Israel to double down on its terrible decisions. This is the time to tell Israel that it must change course, that there is a path of peace where no Palestinians or Israelis are killed.”