U.S. Vetoes U.N. Resolution on Israel-Hamas War Amid Escalating Violence
UNITED NATIONS – In a move that drew widespread criticism and disappointment, the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution on Wednesday aimed at condemning violence against civilians in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and urging humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.
🚨🚨🚨A second ceasefire in Gaza was proposed at the United Nations 🇺🇳— Kevin – WE THE PEOPLE❤️ – DAD🦁 🐉 🔥 (@bambkb) October 18, 2023
12 countries voted = YES
2 countries abstained
1 country VOTED = NO
That one country is the USA 🇺🇸
Because the USA is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, they have the power to… pic.twitter.com/w11396oN5a
The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, defended the decision, stating that it was premature for the Security Council to craft a response to the rapidly-evolving situation. She emphasized the need to gather more information and allow diplomatic initiatives to progress, particularly those led by President Joe Biden. The Ambassador further criticized the resolution for its omission of Israel’s right to self-defense.
Sponsored by Brazil, the resolution had garnered substantial backing within the 15-member Security Council with a vote tally of 12 in favor, one against (U.S.), and two abstentions from Russia and Britain. The resolution sought to condemn all forms of violence against civilians, explicitly mentioning “the heinous terrorists attacks by Hamas” against Israel.
The violence in the region has escalated sharply, with over 1,400 Israeli fatalities due to surprise attacks by Hamas on October 7. On the Palestinian side, the Gaza Health Ministry reported nearly 3,500 deaths in Gaza with more than 12,000 wounded since the conflict intensified.
While the U.S. stance on the resolution was not universally shared, Britain’s Ambassador, Barbara Woodward, also expressed concerns about the lack of recognition given to Israel’s right to self-defense within the proposed text.
The vote’s aftermath was marked by expressions of regret from various council members, including France, China, and the UAE. The resolution’s sponsor, Brazil, currently holds the council presidency. Their U.N. Ambassador, Sérgio França Danese, termed the resolution as “robust and balanced” and lamented the council’s inability to unify over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a tragic development, a significant explosion occurred at a Gaza City hospital on Tuesday, resulting in hundreds of casualties. The cause remains disputed, with Hamas attributing it to an Israeli airstrike and Israel pointing to a misfired rocket by the Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad.
Russia’s proposed amendments to the resolution, calling for a “humanitarian cease-fire” and condemning attacks on civilian structures in Gaza, failed to gain traction.
Amid the political developments at the U.N., diplomatic efforts are underway to contain the situation. President Biden’s recent visit to Israel, during which he met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, underscores the urgency of the matter.
However, tensions increased when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas withdrew from a scheduled meeting with Biden and other regional leaders. In response to the escalating violence, the Arab Group at the U.N. called for an immediate ceasefire.
The situation remains fluid, with a summit planned in Cairo this Saturday, involving regional leaders and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The primary focus will be on addressing the humanitarian crisis and seeking pathways to establish a lasting peace in the region.
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