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US vetoes UNSC resolution demanding humanitarian pause in Gaza

This screenshot photo provided by the UN website on October 18, 2023 shows US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield raising her hand during a UNSC meeting to vote on a Brazilian-led draft resolution on the Israel-Gaza crisis.

The United States has blocked a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that would have established humanitarian pauses in the ongoing Israeli war on the blockaded Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The US on Wednesday vetoed the resolution that had been drafted by Brazil and had sought to broker aid access to Gaza amid the incessant Israeli airstrikes and shelling against people in the tiny strip of land.

Representatives of 12 countries in the 15-member UNSC voted in favor of the resolution while Britain and Russia abstained. A UNSC resolution needs the approval of all five veto-wielding members of the body, including the US, to pass. Besides, for the resolution to pass, no permanent member should cast a veto. 

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield justified her country’s veto, saying “this resolution did not mention Israel’s right of self-defense.”

Washington’s rejection of the resolution came a day after at least 500 people, many of them women and children, were killed in a bombing attack on a hospital in Gaza. The Palestinians have blamed the Israeli regime for the brazen attack while the regime has denied responsibility.

Nearly 3,500 people have been killed in more than 11 days of Israeli attacks on Gaza. The brutal campaign began after the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement launched attacks on Israeli settlers and military forces to retaliate months of violence against the Palestinians and their sanctities.

The US has always been a staunch supporter of Israel. Washington has been supporting the regime by blocking international efforts to hold the regime accountable for its acts.

The UNSC resolution vetoed by the US on Wednesday had called for the cancelation of an order for civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate to south of the coastal sliver in anticipation of major ground offensive by Israel.

More than a million have become homeless inside Gaza as a result of Israeli bombardment and shelling. The regime has also maintained a crippling siege on the small territory by cutting water, electricity and food supplies to more than 2.3 million people living there.

The action on the Brazilian-led draft resolution follows the failure on Monday of a Russian-drafted resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

The Russian-drafted resolution failed to get the minimum nine votes needed as the US and the UK voted against the draft resolution, while five, including China, Russia and the UAE, voted in favor and there were six abstentions.

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