US stuns the world: Vetoes UN demand for Israel-Hamas ceasefire
In a move that has sent shockwaves across the international community, the United States on Friday used its veto power to block a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing and intense conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza. This dramatic step was taken to protect its longstanding ally, Israel, in the face of widespread global concern.
The vetoed resolution, proposed by the United Arab Emirates, received overwhelming support from thirteen other Security Council members, with only the United Kingdom abstaining. The voting followed a stern warning from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the global threat posed by the war, which has now been raging for over two months.
Deputy UAE U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab questioned the message being sent to Palestinians and civilians worldwide, as the council failed to unite behind the call to halt the bombardment of Gaza. The UAE expressed deep disappointment at the council’s inability to demand a humanitarian ceasefire.
In defense of its veto, the United States, represented by Deputy U.N. Ambassador Robert Wood, argued that the resolution contained a call for an unconditional ceasefire, which would leave Hamas in a position to repeat its actions. Wood criticized the UAE’s draft resolution as rushed and imbalanced, asserting that it would not effectively change the situation on the ground.
The United Kingdom’s U.N. Ambassador, Barbara Woodward, explained the UK’s abstention, stating the resolution lacked condemnation of Hamas. She emphasized Israel’s need to address the threat posed by Hamas in compliance with international humanitarian law.
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan, in a post-vote statement, said that a ceasefire would only be possible with the return of all hostages and the destruction of Hamas.
As a permanent member of the Security Council, the U.S. holds the power to veto any resolution, a privilege it exercised in this instance. Ahead of the vote, Guterres had condemned the brutality of Hamas but also highlighted the unjust collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
This event underscores the complexities of international diplomacy and the challenges in resolving long-standing conflicts, especially in politically sensitive regions like the Middle East. The U.S. veto at the U.N. has not only halted the proposed ceasefire but has also intensified the debate on the role of major powers in global conflict resolution.