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US: “We are ready to help Israel and the Palestinians if they seek a ceasefire.”

According to Reuters, the United States said to the UN Security Council it has made clear to Israel, the Palestinians, and other parties that it is ready to provide support if the two sides seek a ceasefire, aiming an end to the increasing violence:

“We agree that Israelis and Palestinians alike have the right to live in protection and security,” said Linda Thomas Greenfield, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, to the Security Council.

The UN Security Council held today its first public meeting regarding this escalation after two closed sessions. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues with full force.

The US, a staunch ally of Israel, stood alone in its position against the issuance of a public statement by the UN Security Council on the worst acts of violence in years between Israel and the Palestinians. The attitude indicates the US fears this would harm ongoing diplomatic efforts behind the scenes.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, told the UN Security Council that the hostilities in Israel and Gaza were horrific and called for an immediate end to the fighting. At the opening of the first public meeting of the 15-member council on the conflict, he said that the United Nations is strongly pushing all parties towards a ceasefire. 

“The United States has made clear in all of these communications with Israeli leaders, the Palestinian Authority, and all regional partners that we are prepared to provide our assistance… if the two parties pursue a ceasefire,” Greenfield commented. 

While talks keep going on, the death toll in the Gaza Strip rose overnight to 188, including 55 children, amid intense Israeli air and artillery shelling since the outbreak of fighting on Monday. At the same time, at least ten people were killed in Israel, including two children, in thousands of rocket attacks launched by the Hamas movement. 

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