UN, 20 Feb – The United States again blocked a draft resolution in the UN Security Council demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip – this time Washington vetoed the Algerian document, the correspondent reports
13 members of the UN Security Council voted for the resolution, the United States was against it, and only Great Britain abstained.
The draft resolution demanded “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which must be respected by all parties.” It also contained a demand that all hostages be released immediately and without any preconditions. The document demanded the full implementation of two resolutions adopted on October 7, 2023 on the conflict between Israel and Hamas: 2712 and 2720.
UN Security Council Resolution 2712, with an emphasis on the need to protect children in armed conflict, was adopted on November 15, 2023, resolution 2720, with the stated objectives of increasing and monitoring the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, was adopted on December 22, 2023.
Earlier, US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the United States does not support voting on the Algerian project and promised that if it is put to a vote, “it will not be accepted.” According to her, the United States is working to conclude an agreement between Israel and Hamas on the release of the hostages, which would entail establishing a pause in hostilities in Gaza for a period of at least six weeks. The American side believes that Algeria’s draft resolution did not contribute to achieving these goals.
On Monday it became known that the United States had introduced its own alternative draft resolution. According to the text, the UN Security Council “emphasizes its support for establishing a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as possible.”
The United States has more than once blocked decisions in the UN Security Council that would impede the implementation of Israel’s military plans in the Gaza Strip. Today’s veto was the third time the United States has blocked a draft resolution since the outbreak began in October 2023. In particular, on December 8, 2023, they blocked a UAE draft resolution that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Earlier, on October 18, 2023, Washington vetoed Brazil’s draft resolution. That document, among other things, called on Israel to withdraw the order for Gazans to move to the south of the strip. Then the United States explained its decision by saying that the draft resolution did not mention Israel’s right to self-defense.
On October 7, Israel was subjected to an unprecedented-scale rocket attack from the Gaza Strip as part of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, announced by the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement. After this, the organization’s fighters entered the border areas in southern Israel, where they opened fire on both military and civilians, and also took more than 200 hostages. In Israel, according to the latest data from the authorities, about 1.2 thousand people were killed, this number includes civilians, soldiers, foreign citizens and workers, and it was also reported that more than 5 thousand were injured.
In response, the Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Iron Swords against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Within a few days, the Israeli military took control of all populated areas near the border with Gaza and began carrying out air strikes on targets, including civilians, in the strip. Israel also announced a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip: the supply of water, food, electricity, medicine, and fuel was stopped. At the end of October, the ground phase of the Israeli operation in the enclave began. Gaza City was surrounded by Israeli ground forces, and the enclave was effectively divided into southern and northern parts.
The death toll from Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip since October 7 has reached 28,985, with 68,883 people injured, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported.
Hamas claimed that there were about 200-250 hostages in the Gaza Strip. After the end of the truce, Israeli authorities announced that 126 Israelis and 11 foreigners remained hostage with Hamas, and 110 abducted were released.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the parties to stop hostilities. According to the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the settlement of the Middle East crisis is possible only on the basis of a “two-state” formula approved by the UN Security Council, which provides for the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, related to the territorial interests of the parties, has been a source of tension and fighting in the region for many decades. A UN decision with the active role of the USSR in 1947 determined the creation of two states – Israel and Palestine, but only the Israeli one was created.