The US vetoed this Saturday a draft resolution presented to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza War, a move that provoked reactions across the world.
The world had a chance to unite at the United Nations Security Council’s meeting this Saturday and unanimously call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza war and stop Israel’s bloodshed in the besieged Palestinian land. However, the draft resolution put forward by the UAE that called for the ceasefire was vetoed by the United States, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.
“We do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire,” US Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Robert A. Wood said before the vote, alleging also that “this would only plant the seeds for the next war.”
Justifying the US decision to veto the resolution, Wood said that unfortunately, nearly all of our recommendations and amendments were ignored in the resolution, which include a condemnation of Hamas’ 7 October operation and the right for Israel to defend itself. Therefore, this resolution is divorced from reality that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way. And so, we regretfully could not support it.”
Rebuking the US decision, Riyad H. Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine, addressed the US agent and said during the same meeting that “If you are against the destruction and displacement of the Palestinian people, you have to be in favor of an immediate ceasefire. We have 2 million hostages in the Gaza Strip; our civilians have been attacked repeatedly.”
Countries and international bodies react to US veto
Following the US decision not to let the resolution be passed, a wave of harsh criticism swarmed against Washington. First of all, it was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who reacted and said that Washington’s veto made it “complicit” in war crimes in Gaza.
“The president has described the American position as aggressive and immoral, a flagrant violation of all humanitarian principles and values, and holds the United States responsible for the bloodshed of Palestinian children, women and elderly people in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas said in a statement Saturday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian also blamed US for the veto and warned of the threat of an “uncontrollable explosion” of the situation in the Middle East.
During a phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Saturday, Amirabdollahian said that “as long as America supports the crimes of the Zionist regime (Israel) and the continuation of the war … there is a possibility of an uncontrollable explosion in the situation of the region.”
The UAE, who first proposed the resolution, also criticized Washington’s decision, with its deputy UN ambassador Mohamed Abushahab addressing the UNSC and saying: “what is the message we are sending Palestinians if we cannot unite behind a call to halt the relentless bombardment of Gaza? Indeed, what is the message we are sending civilians across the world who may find themselves in similar situations?”
Likewise, China and Russia rebuked the US veto and compared Washington’s decision to “issuing a death sentence to thousands if not tens of thousands more civilians in Palestine.”
International organizations also blamed the US veto. Amnesty’s secretary general Agnes Callamard, for example, said on Twitter that the US veto “displays a callous disregard for civilian suffering in the face of a staggering death toll”.
Similarly, executive director of Doctors Without Borders Avril Benoit issued a statement in this regard and said: “by vetoing this resolution, the US stands alone in casting its vote against humanity. The US veto stands in sharp contrast to the values it professes to uphold.”