In a move that has sparked international debate and condemnation, the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution on Friday, backed by a majority of Security Council members and numerous nations, calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution, put forward by the United Arab Emirates, received support from thirteen members, but the U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Wood, argued against it.
Wood asserted that halting military action would allow the militant group Hamas to continue its rule and claimed that a ceasefire would “only plant the seeds for the next war.” He criticized the UN for its perceived failure to condemn Hamas attacks in Israel and acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself. Wood stated, “Although the United States strongly supports a durable peace in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security, we do not support this resolution’s call for an unsustainable ceasefire that will only plant the seeds for the next war.”
Israel’s UN Ambassador, Gilad Erdan, reiterated the country’s stance that a ceasefire would only be possible with the return of all hostages and the destruction of Hamas. The U.S. decision to veto the resolution drew strong criticism from the Palestinian group Hamas. In an official statement, Hamas condemned the move as “unethical and inhumane,” accusing the U.S. of direct participation in the killing of Palestinian people and endorsing what they described as “massacres and ethnic cleansing.”
The UN envoy for Palestine, Riyad Mansour, expressed his disappointment, calling the result of the vote “disastrous.” He emphasized the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, stating that millions of Palestinian lives were at stake and pleading for a united call to halt the relentless bombardment.
Prior to the vote, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council about the global threat posed by the two-month-long war, emphasizing the lack of effective protection for civilians in Gaza. Guterres described the people of Gaza as being forced to move like “human pinballs” without the basics for survival, stressing that nowhere in Gaza was safe.
The UAE’s Deputy UN Ambassador, Mohamed Abushahab, questioned the message being sent to Palestinians if the international community could not unite behind a call to stop the ongoing bombardment of Gaza.
The U.S. veto has intensified the ongoing debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with differing opinions on the effectiveness of the resolution and the path towards achieving a lasting peace in the region. The situation remains complex and continues to raise concerns about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.