UN Security Council does not pass US resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire | Israel War on Gaza News

Russia and China have vetoed the US draft Security Council resolution at the UN headquarters in New York.

The United Nations Security Council has failed to pass a United States draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in Israel's ongoing war on Gaza after two permanent members chose to veto it.

The draft put before the Council on Friday received 11 votes in favour, three against – from Russia, China and Algeria – and one abstention from Guyana.

Russia and China both exercised their veto against the resolution, which would have spoken of the “imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire” and condemned the October 7 attack by Hamas.

'Hypocritical spectacle': Russia

Moscow accused Washington of a “hypocritical spectacle” that does not pressure Israel.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said the draft was exceedingly politicized and contained an effective green light for Israel to mount a military operation in Gaza's southernmost city of Rafah, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering.

Nebenzia said there was no call for a ceasefire in the resolution's text and accused the US leadership of “deliberately misleading the international community.”

He told fellow ambassadors that if they passed the resolution, “you will cover yourselves in disgrace.”

The US ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Russia had prioritized politics over progress in vetoing the resolution, throwing stones when it lives in a glass house.

She added that both Russia and China were doing nothing meaningful to advance peace.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield addresses a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York City, US, on March 22, 2024 [Mike Segar/Reuters]

Alternative draft resolutions

The US, Israel's closest ally, has vetoed three resolutions demanding a ceasefire, the most recent being an Arab-backed measure supported by 13 council members with one abstention on February 20.

A day earlier, the US had circulated a rival resolution, which went through major changes during negotiations before this Friday's vote.

It initially would have supported a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all hosts, and the previous draft would have supported international efforts for a ceasefire as part of a hostage deal.

On Friday, Algeria's UN ambassador, Amar Bendjama, said that had the Council passed its February resolution, thousands of innocent lives could have been saved. More than 32,000 people – mostly women and children – have been killed since the war began last October.

These figures represent lives and “hopes that have been destroyed,” Bendjama said, adding that the US text made no mention of Israel's responsibility for their deaths.

Meanwhile, the 10 elected members of the Security Council have been drafting their own resolution, which demands that an immediate humanitarian ceasefire for the holy month of Ramadan, which began March 10, be “respected by all parties leading to a permanent sustainable ceasefire.”

It also demands “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages” and emphasizes the urgent need to protect civilians and deliver humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip.

France will also work on a new UN resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.

“Following Russia's and China's veto a few minutes ago, we are going to resume work on the basis of the French draft resolution in the Security Council and work with our American, European and Arab partners to reach an agreement,” Macron said at the end of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels.

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