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US blocks UNSC resolution calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza war

Washington casts the only vote against the Algerian proposal, UK abstained

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield vetoing the resolution at the UN headquarters on February 20, 2024 in New York City, NY. (Photo: UN via ABACAPRESS.COM)

A resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza, proposed by Algeria in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday, was blocked by a U.S. veto.

The draft document demanded “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire that must be respected by all parties.”

While it included a call to release all 134 Israeli hostages still being held captive by Hamas, the Algerian text did not explicitly mention or condemn the terror group’s Oct. 7 invasion and massacre.

The proposal was defeated despite 13 votes in the 15-member council supporting the motion, including Russia, China, France, and U.S. allies Korea and Japan.

Chinese UN ambassador Zhang Jun said: “The continued passive avoidance of an immediate ceasefire is no different from giving a green light to the continued slaughter.”

The U.S. blocked the resolution by using its veto, while the United Kingdom was the only nation to abstain from the vote.

The Biden administration explained its opposition by pointing to the possible interference of the resolution with the ongoing negotiations over a hostage release deal.

“Any action this council takes right now should help, not hinder these sensitive and ongoing negotiations, and we believe that the resolution on the table right now would, in fact, negatively impact those negotiations,” U.S. envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield argued.

The U.S. previously announced its opposition to the Algerian draft, instead floating its own proposal which called for a ceasefire in softer language.

The American draft instead suggests a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released.”

The U.S. proposal fits the increasingly critical stance toward Israel by the Biden administration in recent weeks, as Washington previously avoided using the term “ceasefire” and had vetoed two UNSC drafts last October and December calling for it.

Last December, the U.S. supported a UNSC resolution that stressed the need for a quick increase in humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing war but refrained from calling for an immediate ceasefire.

The resolution text called “for urgent steps to immediately allow safe, unhindered and expanded humanitarian access and to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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