The United States has blocked a statement from the United Nations Security Council to complain about the decision to throw out the Norwegian-led observer force TIPH from Hebron.
The United States vetoed a request from several members of the UN Security Council to apologize for the draft of the TIPH Wednesday, diplomats told AFP news agency. The US blockade was expected.
The Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday, at the request of Kuwait and Indonesia.
The two countries advocated discussing the situation after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week announced he would not extend the mandate of the 64-person force in Hebron in the West Bank.
Will probably be blocked
“There was almost unanimous concern about the situation,” said Security Council President Anatolio Ndong Mba to journalists after the meeting. He pointed out that the countries “exchanged different views” on Israel’s decision.
Kuwait and Indonesia drafted a statement expressing regret over Israel’s “one-sided decision”, according to the text that AFP had access to. In the proposal, the two countries emphasized TIPH’s mandate and efforts to safeguard order in an area where excitement is great.
Israel is, according to international law, obliged to “protect the Palestinian civilian population in Hebron,” the draft said.
The Norwegian-led observer team Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) has been in Hebron for over 20 years.
Norway has regretted Israel’s decision, but at the same time made it clear that Norway must relate to the fact that Israel no longer sees the need for the force.