The US vetoes the resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

2023-12-09 08:50:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
The US vetoes the resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza
Illustrative photo

The United States on Friday vetoed a United Nations resolution, supported by an overwhelming majority of Security Council members and many other countries, that called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The vote in the 15-member council resulted in 13 for and 1 against, while the United Kingdom abstained.

US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood criticized the council after the vote for what he called its failure to condemn Hamas attacks on Israel and recognize Israel's right to self-defense. He stated that a halt to military action would allow Hamas to continue to rule and "sow the seeds for the next war," as he put it.

The head of the United Nations and many members of the Security Council called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, but the United States reiterated its opposition despite a direct appeal by Arab diplomats.

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and other major Arab countries, as well as Turkey, were in Washington on Friday on a rare joint mission to pressure the Biden administration to drop its opposition to a ceasefire. On Friday afternoon, they are expected to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Israel's more than two-month military campaign has killed more than 17,400 people in Gaza, 70% of them women and children, and injured more than 46,000 people, according to the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health, which says many others are trapped under the rubble. The Hamas-run ministry does not distinguish between the number of dead civilians and Hamas militants.

The resolution was presented to the council by the United Arab Emirates, which called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. But the statement earlier by the US deputy ambassador to this council, Robert Wood, signaled the stance against the United States.

Mr Wood criticized the council for not condemning Hamas's surprise attack on Israel on October 7, during which the militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 240 hostages. He said a ceasefire would leave Hamas in charge of Gaza and more than 100 people still being held hostage in the militant group's hands.

No government would allow such a threat, following the worst attack on a people in decades, Mr Wood said, stressing that a halt to military action would only "sow the seeds for the next war, because Hamas does not want to to see a lasting peace or a two-state solution".

"For this reason, while the United States strongly supports a lasting peace in which Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security, we do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire," said Mr. Wood./VOA

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