Russia and China Veto US-Led Gaza Ceasefire Resolution at UN Security Council

In a contentious move, Russia and China exercised their veto power on Friday to block a US-led draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council aimed at establishing a ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution, which also sought to condemn the recent attack by Hamas, failed to gain sufficient support due to concerns that it did not adequately pressure Israel to end its military campaign.

The draft resolution, put forward by the United States, called for “the imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire” in Gaza. However, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, criticized the text, arguing that it would not effectively rein in Israel’s actions and accusing Washington of engaging in a “hypocritical spectacle.”

Nebenzia derided the resolution as a political maneuver aimed at appeasing voters, rather than addressing the root causes of the conflict. He asserted that the text would only serve to ensure the impunity of Israel, whose actions in Gaza were not being properly assessed.

Similarly, China’s representative, Zhang Jun, expressed dissatisfaction with the resolution, describing its language as ambiguous and noting that it failed to provide a clear path to achieving a ceasefire in the short term.

Despite support from other Security Council members, including France and Britain, the resolution was blocked by Russia and China’s vetoes, along with opposition from Algeria and abstention by Guyana.

Following the veto, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated France’s commitment to pursuing an alternative resolution for a ceasefire. Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour expressed disappointment with the outcome, stating that Arab nations had supported Algeria’s opposition to the US text due to its lack of clarity on the ceasefire.

In response to the vetoes, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized Russia and China for their actions, describing them as “cynical” and “petty.” She accused the two countries of prioritizing political interests over efforts to achieve lasting peace and address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The failure of the resolution comes amid escalating tensions in Gaza, where Israel has threatened to launch a military offensive in the city of Rafah. Despite opposition from the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to proceed with the operation.

The conflict in Gaza has resulted in significant civilian casualties, with more than 1,160 people, mostly civilians, killed in the deadliest attack on October 7. The situation has raised concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with the United Nations warning of imminent famine in the territory.

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