New York: In a recent statement to the United Nations Security Council, Robert A Wood, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States, declared the country’s stance against calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Wood argued that such a move would only set the stage for future conflicts, emphasizing that Hamas, which remains a threat to Israel, has shown no commitment to a durable peace or a two-state solution.
Wood criticized the UNSC’s failure to condemn Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, calling it a “serious moral failure.” He highlighted the ongoing efforts of the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, underscoring the breakdown in a pause due to Hamas’ refusal to release young women hostages.
While expressing sympathy for civilian suffering in Gaza, Wood emphasized Israel’s responsibility to respect international humanitarian law and minimize harm to civilians. He urged Israel to avoid mass displacement of civilians and welcomed the Israeli government’s decision to open Kerem Shalom for inspecting humanitarian goods. Wood also condemned attacks on UN shelters and facilities, insisting that Israel must avoid damage to critical civilian infrastructure.
The statement concluded with Wood reiterating the U.S.’s commitment to freeing remaining hostages and urging access for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide medical treatment to those held by Hamas and other extremist groups.