US vetoes UN Security Council Gaza ceasefire resolution News
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US vetoes UN Security Council Gaza ceasefire resolution

The US vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution put forth by Algeria calling for an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas War on Tuesday. Although the resolution garnered a 13-1 vote, with the UK abstaining, it failed to pass as the US is a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power.

Explaining the veto, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said:

Demanding an immediate, unconditional ceasefire without an agreement requiring Hamas to release the hostages will not bring about a durable peace. Instead, it could extend the fighting between Hamas and Israel, extend the hostages’ time in captivity, an experience described by former hostages as ‘hell,’ and extend the dire humanitarian crisis Palestinians are facing in Gaza.

The US proposed its own draft resolution on Monday which affirmed “its support for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released.”

Algerian UN Ambassador Amar Bendjama reacted to the US veto by saying, “Unfortunately, the Security Council failed once again to rise to the calls and aspirations of peoples of the world … It is high time for the aggression to end.”  Meanwhile, Israel’s UN ambassador Gilad Erdan rejected calls for a ceasefire. “A ceasefire achieves one thing and one thing only: the survival of Hamas, exactly the opposite of how it’s portrayed. A ceasefire is a death sentence for many more Israelis and Gazans,” Erdan said.

The Security Council adopted a resolution in December that called for “steps toward a sustainable cessation of hostilities” after the US vetoed two other draft resolutions urging a ceasefire, one in December and another in October.

Tuesday’s veto comes as Israel prepares for a ground offensive in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, a prospect that has sparked concerns among some states and the UN’s Secretary General as 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge in the city. Israel has set a deadline of March 10, the beginning of Ramadan, for Hamas to release the hostages taken from southern Israel on October 7. If that deadline is not met, Israel will commence operations in Rafah.