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#BREAKING: US blocks third draft UN statement on Israeli aggression in Gaza

United States refuses to support a text drafted by China, Tunisia and Norway that calls for “cessation of violence and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, especially children,” diplomats say.

The United States has blocked –– for the third time in a week –– the adoption of a joint UN Security Council statement calling for a halt to Israeli-Palestinian fighting and the protection of civilians, diplomats said.

The text drafted by China, Tunisia and Norway and calling for the “cessation of violence and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, especially children” was submitted late on Sunday for approval on Monday by the Council’s 15 members. 

The United States indicated that it “could not currently support an expression” by the Security Council, one diplomat told AFP news agency. 

Israel killed a senior Palestinian Hamas commander in heavy air strikes on Gaza on Monday and Islamist groups renewed rocket attacks on Israeli cities despite mounting international calls for a ceasefire.

As the fiercest hostilities in the region in years entered a second week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged all sides to protect civilians, while Washington, Egypt and U.N. mediators stepped up efforts to end the fighting.

U.N. General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said the 193-member body will meet on Thursday to discuss the situation. 

Gaza health officials put the Palestinian death toll since the hostilities flared last week at 201, including 58 children and 34 women. Ten people have been killed in Israel, including two children.

Police said an Israeli man also died in hospital on Monday after being attacked last week by Arab rioters as clashes broke out in mixed Jewish-Arab communities in Israel, a new front of violence that has been ignited by the Gaza fighting.

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