A U.S.-drafted statement condemning rocket attacks on Israel was blocked in the United Nations Security Council by Kuwait.
Kuwait is a non-permanent member of the council and represents the Arab countries.
It blocked the resolution proposed on Wednesday ahead of an emergency Security Council meeting called by the United States to discuss the nearly 24 hours of rocket and mortar strikes by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip on southern Israeli communities.
Kuwait had circulated its own draft resolution about two weeks ago calling for an international protection mission for the Palestinians following weeks of border clashes that left more than 100 Gaza Palestinians dead and hundreds injured.
“We cannot agree to the text put forth by your delegation especially as we are considering a draft resolution that deals with the protection of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Gaza Strip,” Kuwait said in an email to the U.S. mission, according to the French news agency AFP, which saw the email.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, responded to the block of the resolution during the emergency council meeting.
“It is outrageous for the Security Council to fail to condemn Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli citizens while the Human Rights Council approves sending a team to investigate Israeli actions taken in self-defense,” she said.
“I urge the members of the Security Council to exercise at least as much scrutiny of the actions of the Hamas terrorist group as it does Israel’s legitimate right of self-defense.”
Some 200 rockets and mortar shells are believed to have been fired from Gaza at southern Israel by the Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Tuesday morning until 5:17 a.m. Wednesday. Code Red rocket alert sirens were triggered at least 166 times there during that time, according to the Israeli military.
Hamas on Wednesday morning announced that a cease-fire agreement had been reached, and no projectiles have been fired since the announcement of the informal cease-fire reportedly brokered by Egypt. The Israeli army said it would refrain from attacking Gaza as long as there is calm.