The Biden administration rejected a UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israeli and Palestinian forces.
The UN Security Council drafted a statement—jointly with China, Tunisia, and Norway—that stressed the need for a deescalation of violence and urged “respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, especially children,” according to RT.
The Hamas rocket attacks began last Monday, and by Wednesday morning the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced more than 1,050 rockets had been launched at southern and central Israel.
The Israeli military has also struck hundreds of Hamas targets in response after their Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted between 85 and 90 percent of the rockets aimed at Israel.
The Associated Press (AP) reports Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rocket barrages have killed more than 200 people in the eight-day skirmish.
The AFP news agency said the US refusal to endorse a joint Security Council statement was met with “disbelief” by its allies. And UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric spoke of the need to take unified action, telling a press conference: “I would really restate the need for a very strong and unified voice from the Security Council, which we think will carry weight,” reports The Independent.
This was the UN body’s third attempt to advance a document endorsing a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in a week.
It is unclear why the Biden administration refused to endorse the UN’s ceasefire statement, especially since Biden recently expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in a call on Thursday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Biden admin.’s refusal to back the UNSC statement drew praise from Tel Aviv, with Israeli Defense Ministry Benny Gantz extending his “sincere thanks to the US administration” for “rightly preventing the unjust UN Security Council statement criticizing Israel’s actions in Gaza.”
“This criticism of Israel is hypocritical and detrimental to the global fight against terror,” Gantz added, arguing that Israel’s goal is “solely to dismantle terror infrastructure and protect our people.”
In Israel, at least 10 people, including two children, were reported killed in the attacks, as well as 50 injured.
Netanyahu told Israeli security officials late Monday that Israel would “continue to strike terror targets” in Gaza “as long as necessary in order to return calm and security to all Israeli citizens,” notes AP.
The attack by Hamas against Israel comes after the Biden admin allocated nearly $100 million for the Palestinians, reversing President Donald J. Trump’s decision to stop all aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza (here, here) which had ultimately led to a string of peace deals in the Middle East (here).
After funding the Palestinians, Biden will now approve a $735 million weapons sale to Israel.
Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith.