The UN Security Council did not adopt a draft resolution that demanded the introduction of an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a suspension of fighting between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas. The United States, which together with the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council, has the right of veto was against it. 13 out of 15 countries voted in favor, including the United Arab Emirates, which presented the draft resolution, Russia or China. Britain, another permanent member, abstained.
Immediately after the vote, US Representative Robert Wood called the draft resolution “rushed” and insufficiently discussed. According to its diplomat, the United States nevertheless approached him “in good faith.” However, they were ultimately opposed because, according to Wood, the proposal did not recognize Israel’s right to self-defense, did not condemn the brutal acts, including murder and sexual violence committed by Hamas fighters in southern Israel on October 7, and did not demand the release of hostages held by the Islamist organization in the Strip since then. They still hold the gas.
“As long as Hamas in Gaza clings to its ideology of destruction, any truce will be temporary at best and certainly not peace. Any ceasefire in which Hamas rules the Gaza Strip will deny the Palestinians a chance to build a better future for themselves,” Wood said, reiterating the US position that a ceasefire would give Hamas the opportunity to rearm and repeat the October 7 attack against Israel. According to the US, the long-term solution to the conflict is the creation of an independent Palestine, Wood repeated.
The draft resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire was presented by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to which the situation in the Gaza Strip is “catastrophic and almost irreversible”.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres referred to data published by the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Ministry of Health earlier Friday at the UN Security Council plenary, according to which the fighting in the Gaza Strip has over 17,000 Palestinian victims, including thousands of women and children, and spoke of the unbearable humanitarian situation. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, complained at the same meeting that the UN accepts the data published by the Palestinian Authority uncritically and that Hamas is deliberately exaggerating the number of victims in order to put more pressure on Israel by the international community.
Also, according to US Representative Wood, “Hamas is deliberately placing its infrastructure in civilian areas, although this does not change the fact that the way Israel defends itself is important”. In recent days, American officials have repeated several times that during negotiations with their Israeli counterparts, they appeal to the army to minimize the number of civilian casualties. A number of countries, especially from the Arab world, criticize this approach as insufficient and ineffective.
Friday’s draft resolution is the sixth in a row that the UNSC has voted on since the start of the current war on October 7. Of the six, the only one proposed by Malta, which called for the introduction of humanitarian pauses and deliveries of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, has passed so far, Al Jazeera points out.