US again Vetoes UNSC’s Cease-fire Resolution in Gaza

New York, MINA – The US vetoed Tuesday the latest attempt at the UN Security Council to demand an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the besieged Gaza Strip where the official death toll rapidly nears 30,000, Anadolu Agency reports.

The draft resolution put forward by Algeria received widespread support in the Council with 13 of its 15 member states voting in favor. The US was the sole nation to vote against it, and as a permanent Council member, its opposition killed the resolution. The UK, another permanent member, abstained.

The US signaled its opposition Monday, and put forward a competing draft resolution that called for a “temporary truce “as soon as practicable. But it failed to gain traction with diplomats. Tuesday’s veto is the third the US has exercised to shield Israel from cease-fire calls.

Ahead of the expected US veto, Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s UN envoy, decried the text’s all but certain fate, saying that a vote in opposition signals support “for murder and hatred.”

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“A vote in favor of this draft resolution is a support to the Palestinians’ right to life. Conversely, voting against it implies an endorsement of the brutal violence and collective punishment inflicted upon them,” he said before the vote. “Each one of us decides where we stand in this tragic chapter of history.”

Bendjama vowed to continue efforts for a cease-fire in the Council. “Algeria will return to knock on the doors of the Security Council once again to call for putting an end to the bloodshed in Palestine,” he said.

Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s permanent representative, said Washington’s veto sends a message to Israel “that it can continue to get away with murder.”

“Israel cannot, and should not, and will not, get away with it. We will not allow it,” he said.

“This veto does not absolve Israel of its obligations, nor of those who shield it. Not here in the Security Council. Not in the ICJ, and not anywhere. Even if the Security Council continues to shirk its responsibilities to be obstructed by the veto of a permanent member over and over. The other organs of the international system are upholding their responsibilities,” he added, referring to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas. The ensuing Israeli war has killed at least 29,092 people and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Nearly 70,000 people have been injured.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85 per cent of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

In explaining its veto, the US’ UN envoy pointed to ongoing negotiations to secure a cease-fire deal in exchange for the return of the more than 100 hostages held by Hamas, and said, “Sometimes hard diplomacy takes more time than any of us might like.”

“The resolution on the table right now would in fact negatively impact those negotiations. Demanding an immediate unconditional cease-fire without an agreement requiring Hamas to release the hostages will not bring about a durable peace,” ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Council. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)