US Veto Stalls Ceasefire in Israel-Gaza Conflict at UN Security Council

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US Veto Stalls Ceasefire in Israel-Gaza Conflict at UN Security Council

On February 21, 2024, at the United Nations Security Council, the United States exercised its veto power, overriding a resolution proposed by Arab nations led by Algeria. The resolution aimed at securing an urgent ceasefire and halting major Israeli military offensives in the Gaza Strip amidst escalating combat.

The initial resolution, introduced by Algeria, called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, citing a recent International Court of Justice interim order urging Israel to prevent actions potentially amounting to genocide in Gaza. It also demanded the unconditional release of all hostages.

A separate resolution proposed by the US under the Biden administration included ceasefire language for the first time but omitted references to preventing potential acts of genocide highlighted by the ICJ.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield clarified the veto, citing concerns that the resolution could undermine ongoing backchannel negotiations led by Egypt and Qatar aimed at achieving a temporary truce and hostage exchange between Israel and Hamas.

The US resolution specifically warned against a large-scale ground invasion of Gaza City, highlighting the risk of exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and civilian casualties.

Despite overwhelming support from 14 out of 15 UNSC member states, including calls for an immediate ceasefire, the closest US ally, the UK, abstained from voting. Algeria and other Arab nations criticized the US for delaying urgent Gaza de-escalation efforts.

The Israel-Gaza conflict, which began on October 27, 2023, has resulted in significant casualties, with over 28,000 Palestinians killed, including thousands of children and women, and thousands more missing since the start of the Israeli operation aimed at dismantling Hamas and controlling Gaza.

This summary outlines the recent UN Security Council deadlock over a ceasefire resolution amidst the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, highlighting the US veto and its implications for diplomatic efforts to mitigate the crisis.

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