UN resolution for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza vetoed by the U.S.

by | Feb 20, 2024

A UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was vetoed by the United States on Tuesday.

So far, the United States has vetoed a resolution pertaining to the Gaza conflict three times. As the enclave's conditions continue to rapidly deteriorate, there are growing calls for a ceasefire worldwide.

According to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza, more than 29,100 Palestinians have died since the war started, the majority of whom are women and children.

This week, the UN issued a warning that the Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths which would compound the already intolerable level in Gaza due to malnutrition.

On Tuesday, thirteen nations voted in favor of the Algeria-led resolution, while the United States opposed it. The United Kingdom refrained.

The resolution demanded an immediate cease-fire, the delivery of aid to the entire Gaza Strip, Israel's adherence to International Court of Justice directives, and the observance of all parties’ international legal obligations.

Additionally, it demanded the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages as well as the forced expulsion of Palestinians.

In the event that the resolution was approved, the United States had issued a veto warning.

A hostage deal proposal put forth by the Biden administration “represents the best opportunity to reunite all hostages with their families and enable a prolonged pause in fighting,” according to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield. The deal would cause fighting to stop for at least six weeks.

Thomas Greenfield said on Tuesday before the vote that while we want this deal to happen as soon as possible, sometimes diplomacy takes longer than we would like.

According to a U.S. official, Secretary of State Tony Blinken frequently spoke with his Algerian counterpart in recent weeks and urged him to postpone the vote because it might obstruct American efforts to reach an agreement on hostages and an immediate ceasefire.

There are still significant differences between Israel and Hamas, and talks over the deal have largely stalled. The gaps were acknowledged by Thomas-Greenfield, but he added that “the key elements are on the table.”

A “temporary ceasefire “was requested by the U.S. Security Council in a draft resolution that was circulated on Monday. However, it did not specify when it would take place and was based on the release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Whether or not that draft will be put to a vote is unknown.

Following Tuesday's vote, Thomas-Greenfield emphasized that the United States is prepared to hold discussions with all council members about its alternative draft and called the Algeria-led resolution irresponsible.

The top Middle East advisor to Joe Biden, Brett McGurk, is scheduled to travel to Israel on Wednesday to discuss efforts to free Hamas held hostages in Gaza.

Additionally, he is anticipated to talk about a potential Israeli military operation in Rafah, which the United States has stated it opposes in the absence of an effective strategy for removing the more than 1 million Palestinians fleeing the conflict there.

Source: Axios



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