The United States on Monday blocked -- for the third time in a week -- the adoption of a joint UN Security Council statement calling for a halt to Israeli-Palestinian violence 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 Sunday for approval Monday by the Council's 15 members. 

The United States indicated that they "could not currently support an expression" by the Security Council, one diplomat told AFP.



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