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UN to continue calls for Gaza ceasefire following US veto

The US blocked Tuesday a UN Security Council resolution sponsored by Algeria calling for an emergency humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, and the UN continues calling for a cessation of hostilities.

Feb 21, 2024
By  Al Mayadeen English
Source: https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/un-to-continue-calls-for-gaza-ceasefire-following-us-veto

The United Nations is committed to continue pressing for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday, following the United States' veto of a draft UN Security Council resolution.

The US blocked Tuesday a UN Security Council resolution sponsored by Algeria calling for an emergency humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

13 members of the UN Security Council voted in favor, while the United Kingdom abstained and the US vetoed the resolution.

The US envoy to the UN Linda Greenfield claimed that the draft resolution was not"an effective mechanism," rejecting any ceasefire until the release of captives.

According to Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia on Tuesday, by vetoing another resolution asking for a ceasefire in Gaza, the United States has proved that it does not desire Middle Eastern peace and is just interested in its geopolitical pursuits.

Nebenzia told the Security Council ahead of a vote on the resolution that the goal of Washington is not to achieve peace in the Middle East or to protect civilians but rather to "advance their geopolitical agenda, demanding at any cost that their closest Middle East ally to be shielded."

Nebenzia called the Algerian-drafted resolution "robust" and "balanced."

China's representative to the UN, Zhang Jun, expressed regret and frustration that the Algerian draft resolution did not pass.

The resolution also urges all involved in the war to "comply with their obligations under international law,", particularly regarding civilians and hostages, in addition to demanding the immediate release of all captives.

Dujarric said during a press briefing following a UN Security Council discussion on Palestine that this was not the first time a veto has been seen in the coucil, adding that "I think our message and the Secretary's message has been to repeatedly call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza."

The secretary-general expressed optimism that the council will unify and speak with one voice.

Ceasefire to 'risk hostage negotiations'
US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby warned Tuesday that backing Algeria's proposed UNSC resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza might jeopardize delicate prisoner swap talks.

Kirby boldly claimed during a press briefing that voting for the resolution "could very well put those negotiations at risk."

He echoed Greenfield's comments that voting for the resolution would be "wishful and irresponsible."

On Monday, the United States proposed a draft resolution for the United Nations Security Council's "support for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable," Reuters reported, after seeing the text.

The draft text "determines that under current circumstances a major ground offensive into Rafah would result in further harm to civilians and their further displacement including potentially into neighboring countries."

It also reiterates the context of last week's conversation between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The draft US resolution claims that Israeli plans to invade Rafah "would have serious implications for regional peace and security, and therefore underscores that such a major ground offensive should not proceed under current circumstances."