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US vetoes UN resolution demanding Gaza ceasefire

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10 December 2023, The Age, by Edith M. Lederer

The United States has vetoed a United Nations resolution backed by almost all other Security Council members and many other nations demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Supporters called it a terrible day and warned of more civilian deaths and destruction as the war goes into its third month.

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

US deputy ambassador Robert Wood criticised the council after the vote for its failure to condemn Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel in which the militants killed about 1200 people, mostly civilians, or to acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself. He declared that halting military action would allow Hamas to continue to rule Gaza and ‘‘only plant the seeds for the next war’’.

‘‘Hamas has no desire to see a durable peace, to see a twostate solution,’’ Wood said before the vote. ‘‘For that reason, while the United States strongly supports a durable peace, in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security, we do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire.’’

Israel’s military campaign has killed more than 17,400 people in Gaza — 70 per cent of them women and children — and wounded more than 46,000, according to the Palestinian territory’s Health Ministry, which says many others are trapped under rubble. The ministry does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths.

In a vain effort to press the Biden administration to drop its opposition to a ceasefire, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were all in Washington on Friday. But their meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken took place only after the UN vote.

United Arab Emirates deputy ambassador Mohamed Abushahab said before the vote that the resolution, which his country sponsored, had garnered nearly 100 co-sponsors in less than 24 hours, a reflection of global support for efforts to end the war and save Palestinian lives.

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Article source: The Age / AP | Edith M. Lederer | 10.12.23

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000