Saturday, July 20, 2024

US casts third veto of UN action since start of Israel-Hamas war

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United Nations — In another move that underscores the diplomatic deadlock over the Israel-Hamas conflict, the United States exercised its veto power on February 20, rejecting a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. Instead, the U.S. pressed for the 15-member body to endorse a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of hostages held by Hamas.

With thirteen council members supporting the Algerian-drafted resolution, Britain opted to abstain. This marked the third U.S. veto since the conflict began on October 7.

Algeria’s UN Ambassador, Amar Bendjama, emphasized the significance of the vote, framing it as a stance on Palestinians’ right to life. The resolution, which did not tie the ceasefire to the release of hostages, sought an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield had signaled the impending veto, expressing concerns that the draft resolution could jeopardize talks involving the U.S., Egypt, Israel, and Qatar, aimed at brokering a pause in the conflict and securing the release of hostages in Gaza.

Post-veto, the U.S. introduced its own draft resolution, in a departure from its previous reluctance to use the term “ceasefire” in UN actions related to the conflict. The proposed resolution calls for a temporary ceasefire, emphasizing the release of hostages as a precondition. It aims to allow time for negotiations and emphasizes the need to lift barriers to humanitarian assistance.

The conflict, which began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7, has resulted in a significant loss of life and escalating tensions. Despite global calls for a ceasefire, the diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council continue to face challenges, highlighting the complex dynamics of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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Source: The Straits Times

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