The US ambassador to the UN vetoes a Gaza cease-fire vote at the UN Security Council
The US ambassador to the UN vetoes a Gaza cease-fire vote at the UN Security Council

US vetoes UN Security Council cease-fire resolution

The US on Tuesday vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.


Thirteen council members voted in favor of the text, while the UK abstained. 

The resolution would not "achieve the goal of a sustainable peace and may in fact run counter to it," US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council after the vote concluded. 

She added that the cease-fire in the form that was called for "was wishful and irresponsible" and said the US would not support a resolution that would put "sensitive negotiations in jeopardy."

Nicolas de Riviere, the permanent representative of France to the UN, said it was regrettable that the resolution was not adopted "given the disastrous situation" on the ground in Gaza. 

He said there was "extreme urgency" to conclude an agreement on a cease-fire that would finally guarantee the protection of all civilians and a massive delivery of emergency aid. The French representative added that it was "incomprehensible and unacceptable" that the UNSC "still has not condemned the terrorist attacks" by Hamas. We "strongly deplore the situation."

The UK's representative, Barbara Woodward, urged that fighting in Gaza end "as soon as possible in a way that never again allows Hamas" to carry out appalling attacks.

Both the UK and France are among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that hold veto power. 

The draft resolution put forth by Algeria, the Arab representative on the council, demanded an immediate cease-fire and called for Israel and Hamas militants to "scrupulously comply" with international law especially the protection of civilians and reject the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield had already said in a statement the US would not vote for the resolution because the US had been working on a hostage deal for months and the resolution "may run counter" to that objective.

The US proposed a draft resolution instead, calling for a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable,” which falls short of the wishes of most other Security Council members who want an immediate cease-fire.

In the draft counter-resolution, the US also warned against a major Israeli ground offensive in Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians displaced by the war have sought refuge.

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