US vetoes Arab-backed UN resolution seeking immediate truce in Gaza - GulfToday

US vetoes Arab-backed UN resolution seeking immediate truce in Gaza


US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield casts a veto vote during a UN Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war at UN Headquarters in New York City on Tuesday. AFP

The United States vetoed an Arab-backed UN resolution on Tuesday demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in the embattled Gaza Strip.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1 with the United Kingdom abstaining, reflecting the wide global support for ending the more than four-month war that started with Hamas' surprise invasion of southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people and saw 250 others taken hostage.

Since then, more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's military offensive, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

It was the third US veto of a Security Council resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza.

Earlier Arab nations put to a vote a UN resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, knowing it will be vetoed by the US but hoping to show broad global support for ending the Israel-Hamas war.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield has sad that the Biden administration will veto the Arab-backed resolution because it may interfere with ongoing US efforts to arrange a deal between the warring parties that would bring at least a six-week halt to hostilities and release all hostages taken during Hamas' surprise Oct.7 attack in southern Israel.

In a surprise move ahead of the vote, the United States circulated a rival UN Security Council resolution that would support a temporary cease-fire in Gaza linked to the release of all hostages, and call for the lifting of all restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Both of these actions "would help to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities,” the draft resolution obtained by The Associated Press said.

US deputy ambassador Robert Wood told several reporters on Monday that the Arab-backed resolution is not "an effective mechanism for trying to do the three things that we want to see happen - which is get hostages out, more aid in, and a lengthy pause to this conflict.”

With the US draft, "what we’re looking at is another possible option, and we’ll be discussing this with friends going forward,” Wood said. "I don’t think you can expect anything to happen tomorrow.”

A senior US official said later on Monday that "We don’t believe in a rush to a vote.”

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of council discussions on the US draft, said, "We intend to engage in the coming days in intensive negotiation around it. … That’s why we’re not putting a timeline on a vote, but we do recognise the urgency of the situation.”

Arab nations, supported by many of the 193 UN member countries, have been demanding a cease-fire for months as Israel’s military offensive has intensified in response to the Hamas attack that killed 1,200 people and saw some 250 others taken hostage.

The number of Palestinians killed has surpassed 29,000, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants but says the majority are women and children.

Associated Press

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