US Vetoes UN Resolution For Immediate Humanitarian Ceasefire In Gaza…UK Abstains

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The US voted against a draft UN security council resolution calling for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The vote in the 15-member council was 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining

The move comes after the UN secretary general, António Guterres formally warned of a global threat from the conflict.

Sky News reports: The vote followed an emergency meeting that was called after the UN’s secretary-general invoked a rare power that hadn’t been used since 1971.

Article 99 allows Antonio Guterres to raise threats that he sees to international peace and security, and he warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza”.

Mr Guterres had told the council: “There is no effective protection of civilians. The people of Gaza are being told to move like human pinballs – ricocheting between ever-smaller slivers of the south, without any of the basics for survival. But nowhere in Gaza is safe.”

America’s veto prompted criticism, with the UAE’s deputy ambassador asking: “What is the message we are sending to Palestinians if we cannot unite behind a call to halt the relentless bombardment of Gaza?”

The US and Israel oppose a ceasefire because they believe it would only benefit Hamas – and instead, Washington supports humanitarian pauses, like the seven-day truce that ended last week.

Robert Wood, the deputy US ambassador to the UN, had warned the proposal was “unsustainable” and would “only plant the seeds for the next war”.

He went on to criticise the resolution for failing to condemn Hamas’s attack on Israeli civilians in October, which killed more than 1,200 people.

Barbara Woodward, the UK’s permanent representative to the UN, made similar remarks – adding: “Calling for a ceasefire ignores the fact that Hamas has committed acts of terror and is still holding civilians hostage.”

Niamh Harris
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