No immediate action against Hamas from UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council opted for no immediate action after an emergency meeting over the growing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The United States had called on all 15 members to strongly condemn “heinous terrorist attacks committed by Hamas” which has seen Israel declare war on the Palestinian organisation.

US deputy ambassador Robert Wood said “a good number of countries” had condemned the Hamas attack, telling reporters they could probably figure out one of those which had not.

He said Hamas must end its “violent terrorist activity against the Israeli people” and said there will be a time to restart talks on a two-state solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said US efforts to say Russia was not condemning the attacks were “untrue”.

He said: “We condemn all the attacks on civilians.

“It’s important to stop the fighting immediately, to go to a ceasefire and to meaningful negotiations, which were stalled for decades.”

Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun said Beijing condemned all attacks on civilians as he headed into the meeting, although he did not mention Hamas.

He said: “What’s really important is to prevent the further escalation of the situation and further casualties of civilians.

“What’s also important is really to come back to the two-state solution.”

Mr Jun said it is important for the Security Council to “have its voice heard” although Mr Nebenzia said no country put forward a statement for the council’s consideration.

Malta’s UN ambassador Vanessa Frazier, who called for the meeting, said she did not know if the council would adopt a statement, but added that any condemnation must be mostly against Hamas.

“Palestinian civilians are also victims in this and Hamas put them in this position,” she said.

Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh of the United Arab Emirates, the Arab representative on the council, said all members understand it is key for everyone to work “for calm and de-escalation,” with a priority on protecting civilians on both sides.

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