United States to Convene UN Security Council Meeting on Condemning Hostage-Taking in Israel

By Hamodia Staff

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. (GPO)

On Thursday, May 16 at 3 p.m., the United Nations will convene an Arria-Formula meeting, an informal meeting of members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which must be convened by a member of the UNSC, at UN Headquarters.

The meeting, which was called for by the United States, will focus on condemning the hostage-taking by Hamas terrorists in Israel on October 7 to be used by the terrorist organization as a psychological tool of terrorism.

United States Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, will chair the meeting, which is co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Albania, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungry, Israel, Italy, Malta, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, former vice-chair of the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and one of the first recipients of the Department of State’s International Women of Courage Award, will provide a briefing. Dr. Shoshan Haran, a released hostage and Ayelet Samerano, mother of the Yonatan, Hy”d, whose body was kidnapped by UNRWA workers to Gaza, will also participate in the meeting.

The Arria-formula meeting will focus on demanding that Hamas and other armed groups immediately and unconditionally release all hostages being held in Gaza. It will also highlight the long-term health and psychological impact of hostage-taking not only on those held, but those left behind.

The it will also deal with actions UN agencies and the Security Council can take to accelerate the release of the hostages and the resources available to the UN and other international organizations to support the survivors and freed hostages.

Ambassador Erdan said that “following an unceasing diplomatic effort, we brought about the Security Council convening for the first time to discuss only the situation of our hostages and promoting ways to apply pressure to release them. I thank the US for agreeing to demand the holding of the discussion. The Council will finally be forced to look in the eyes of hostage Shoshan Haran and the mother of the late Yonatan Samerano and realize that Israel will not stop until the hostages are released and that the correct address for applying pressure is the monstrous terrorist organization Hamas.”

The Times of Israel reported that Pramila Patten, the UN’s special representative on violence against women during conflicts, was supposed to be the first of three people to brief Security Council session about the hostages but pulled out.

A UN diplomat said that her withdrawal was not due to scheduling issues, but suggested that it was politically motivated, since her office was pressured not to prioritize the plight of the Israeli hostages over that of the Palestinians.

“Although regretfully she cannot participate in [Thursday’s] meeting, the special representative supports any process that leads towards the release of the hostages,” her office said in a statement.

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