US Vetoes UN Resolution for Ceasefire in Gaza

UNITED NATIONS, 23 Oct 2023

United Nations – TRANSCEND Media Service

18 Oct 2023 – The United States vetoed today a UN Security Council resolution that would have called for “humanitarian pauses” to deliver lifesaving aid to millions in Gaza.

The failure by the Council to make its first public intervention on the Israel-Gaza crisis followed the rejection of a Russian-backed draft on Monday [16 Oct] evening.

While 12 of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of the Brazilian-led text, one (United States) voted against, and two (Russia, and the United Kingdom) abstained.

A ‘no’ vote from any one of the five permanent members of the Council stops action on any measure put before it. The body’s permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Prior to the vote, two amendments proposed by Russia, calling for an immediate, durable and full ceasefire, and to stop attacks against civilians were rejected by the Security Council.

Following the vote, the Permanent Representative of Brazil, the country who introduced the draft resolution and presides the Council in October, said, ““Sadly, very sadly the Council was yet again unable to adopt a resolution on the Israeli Palestinian conflict.”

Sérgio França Danese added, “Again, silence and inaction prevailed, to no one’s true long-term interest. While we deeply regret that collective action is made impossible in the Security Council, we do hope that efforts by other actors will yield positive results.”

Vasily Nebenzya, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, said, “We have just been witnesses once again to the hiporcrisy and double standards or our American colleagues. Not standing in principle in the Security Council, they really did not want to have any solutions found here.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ Permanent Representative, said, “Colleagues the United States is disappointed this resolution make no mention of Israel’s rights of self-defense. Like every nation in the world, Israel has the inherent right of self-defense, as reflected in article 51 of the UN Charter. Following previous terrorist attacks by groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, this Council reaffirmed that right. This text should have done the same.”
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The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, warned the Security Council today that the current crisis “is one of the most difficult moments facing the Israeli and Palestinian people in the last 75 years.”

Wennesland added, “The massacre and despicable acts of violence and terror perpetrated by Hamas against Israelis on 7 October are seared into our collective memories.”

Referring to Tuesday’s strike in a hospital in Gaza, the Special Coordinator said, “Hundreds of Palestinians were killed – patients and those seeking shelter – when the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City was struck by lethal fire. The circumstances of this catastrophe and responsibility still needs to be fully clarified, and we will need a fact based, full investigation, and broad investigation.”

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, told Council members that there is “real risk of the situation spiraling out of control.”

Griffiths added, “What the people of Israel, Palestine and the region need, what we all need, what this Council’s mandate is in existence to secure, is for sanity and humanity to prevail, drawing on the provisions of international humanitarian law, and for urgent efforts to arrest any further descent into this brutal calamity.”

Also mentioning Tuesday’s strike, the US ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, “Last night, President Biden directed his national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened. While we continue to collect information, our current assessment based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday.”

Riyad H. Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, told Council members, “For those who think they can avert a humanitarian catastrophe and a regional spell over while Israel continue continues bombing and killing Palestinians, think again.”

“The region is united in telling you it is not possible. Listen to them. The only way to prevent both is to stop this criminal aggression against our people,” said Mansour.

Israel’s Permanent Representative, Gilad Erdan, asked the Council to “look at what is going on here.”

Erdan added, “11 days after Isis-like Hamas terrorists attempted to carry out another Jewish genocide, this Council is not even focused on their heinous crimes. Up until today, you have not even done the most basic thin. You have not condemned, as a Council, Hamas’ brutal terror attack.”

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaking at U.N. Security Council meeting on Gaza war. (UN TV/YouTube)

 

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 Oct 2023.

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