Robert Wood, U.S Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations emphasized that the U.S is not in support of an immediate ceasefire amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
He told the UN Security Council that Hamas “continues to pose a threat to Israel and remain in charge of Gaza.”
“For that reason, while the United States strongly supports the durable peace, in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security, we do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire,” he added.
Wood asserted that this would “only plant the seeds for the next war because Hamas has no desire to see a durable peace, to see a two-state solution.”
The U.S is one of five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council. The other permanent members are China, France, Russia, and the UK.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, criticized UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres’ invocation of Article 99 of the UN Charter, which warned that the war in Gaza “may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”
He asked that the UN Security Council, “Is the war in Ukraine not a threat to international peace and security?”
Referring to a chemical attack on civilians that international investigators determined was committed by Syria’s air force, Erdan asked, “Do the millions of displaced Syrians and the children whose corpses were found foaming at the mouth in Douma not symbolise a threat to regional stability?”
“Is watching thousands of Yemeni children die in war while tens of thousands starve not worthy enough to invoke Article 99?” he said.
The Israeli Ambassador asserted the “true path to ensure peace is only through supporting Israel’s mission – absolutely not to call for a ceasefire.”
Guterres Calls For Ceasefire
Speaking at the Security Council meeting which was convened after he invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, Antonio Guterres said that there is clearly, in his view, a serious risk of aggravating existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security.
The UN Secretary-General noted, “The risk of collapse of the humanitarian system is fundamentally linked to the complete lack of safety and security for our staff in Gaza and with the nature and intensity of military operations which are severely limiting access to people in desperate need.”
He pointed to the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave.
He noted that the lives of UN staff working in the strip are in danger, saying, “More than 130 of my colleagues have already been killed, many with their families.”
“This is the largest single loss of life in the history of our organization,” he added.
Additionally, Guterres noted that the brutality perpetuated by Hamas can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
“The people of Gaza are looking into the abyss. The international community must do everything possible to end their ordeal. I urge the council to spare no effort to push for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire for the protection of civilians and for the urgent delivery of life-saving aid.
“The eyes of the world and the eyes of history are watching. It is time to act.”Antonio Guterres
Palestinian Envoy to UN, Riyad Mansour called on member states to support the draft ceasefire resolution.
“Are we supposed to pretend we don’t know the objective [of Israel] is the ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip, the dispossession of and forcible displacement of the Palestinian people when so many Israeli representatives could not refrain from admitting it?” he asked.
“If you are against the destruction and displacement of the Palestinian people, you have to be in favour of an immediate ceasefire,” he said.
“Enough is enough. They are playing games with and they’re taking you for a ride, and you need to wake up and see reality as is,” Mansour added.
“Everything we built as humanity after the Second World War was to prevent these horrors. Now, they are taking place in Gaza against the Palestinian people.”Riyad Mansour