US Raises Criticism of Israel Ahead of UNSC Ceasefire Meeting

US Raises Criticism of Israel Ahead of UNSC Ceasefire Meeting

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Senior United States officials have aimed rare levels of criticism at the Israeli regime’s conduct in its war on Gaza as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) prepares to meet.

The council is expected to convene on Friday to discuss a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the two-month-long war. Despite Washington’s warnings to Israel, the US is thought unlikely to pass the resolution.

“It remains imperative that Israel put a premium on civilian protection,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a news conference on Thursday, referring to the Israeli regime’s escalated offensive in Gaza.

More than 17,000 people have been killed in Gaza and 1.8 million Palestinians been forced from their homes during the Israeli onslaught on the enclave since October 7.

“There does remain a gap between… the intent to protect civilians and the actual results that we’re seeing on the ground,” Blinken said, Al Jazeera reported.

Speaking separately by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah, US President Joe Biden “emphasized the critical need to protect civilians and to separate the civilian population from Hamas, including through corridors that allow people to move safely from defined areas of hostilities”, the White House said.

However, on a call with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant on Friday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin once again offered his “enduring support for Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorism”, according to the White House.

Israel has said it is doing everything it can to get civilians out of harm’s way and is targeting only Hamas, the armed group that governs the Gaza Strip.

But UN officials and rights groups have repeatedly said there is no safe place for civilians in the besieged enclave and criticized Israel’s ongoing assault as a “genocide”.

The UNSC is expected to meet on Friday morning in New York to vote on a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The document was drafted by the United Arab Emirates, which is a temporary member of the 15-nation council, the UN’s highest decision-making body.

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