Elected members are expected to work on a new draft resolution amid growing frustration over council inaction.
The United Nations Security Council has once again failed to take action on the Israel-Hamas conflict despite a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
Russia and China on Wednesday vetoed a United States resolution calling for a humanitarian pause to allow humanitarian access, protect civilians and halt the arming of Hamas and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
A countertext submitted by Moscow did not receive sufficient support.
The US had watered down an initial draft released over the weekend after diplomats expressed shock at its failure to acknowledge the humanitarian crisis and boldly declared that Israel had the right to defend itself.
“We have listened to all of you,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the 15-member council after the Russian and Chinese vetoes, which she called disappointing. “Although today’s vote was a setback, we must not be deterred.”
Ten members voted in favor of the resolution, while the United Arab Emirates voted no and Brazil and Mozambique abstained.
It was a rare move by the U.S. to propose measures to the Security Council, but diplomats noted that a humanitarian pause was not the same as a ceasefire, which was supported by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. A break can only last a few hours.
“The draft does not reflect the world’s loudest calls for a ceasefire and an end to the fighting and does not contribute to resolving the problem,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun told the council after the vote. “At this moment, ceasefire is not just a diplomatic term. It means life and death for many civilians.”
After the failure of the US resolution, the Security Council voted on a Russian-drafted text that called for a humanitarian ceasefire and the reversal of Israel’s order to relocate civilians in Gaza south ahead of a ground attack.
It was Russia’s second attempt to reach a solution, but the attempt received only four votes. His first attempt on Oct. 16 received the support of five council members.
UAE Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, who supported the Russian resolution, said the Security Council must respond “tangibly” to the dire situation in Gaza.
The elected ten members of the Security Council now plan to work on a new draft resolution, said Malta’s UN Ambassador Vanessa Frazier.
The US vetoed a draft resolution presented by Brazil on October 18, saying it had not done enough to emphasize Israel’s right to self-defense. Russia and the United Kingdom abstained.
“This crisis is also linked to the growing risk of regional spillover. This requires our undivided attention,” Frazier said. “We have a duty and an obligation to act.”
Amid the standoff in the council, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly will vote on Friday on a draft resolution introduced by Arab states and others calling for an immediate ceasefire. No country has veto power in the General Assembly, and although their resolutions are non-binding, they carry political weight.
Israel has said it wants to wipe out Hamas, which controls Gaza, in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack in which the group killed 1,400 people and captured at least 200.
Israel has besieged Gaza and subjected its 2.3 million residents to relentless bombing. According to Palestinian authorities, more than 6,500 people have been killed since the war began.
Source : www.aljazeera.com