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Global condemnations pour in after US veto of Gaza ceasefire resolution

French Ambassador to the United Nations Nicolas de Riviere (C) raises his hand in favor of a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza during a United Nations Security Council meeting at UN headquarters in New York on December 8, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Condemnations have poured in from across the world following the United States’ veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as the Palestinian death toll continues to rise from the Israeli regime’s genocidal war against the besieged territory.

In a statement on Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced as “aggressive, immoral, and a flagrant violation of all humanitarian principles” US’ veto, saying the move made Washington “complicit” in Israeli war crimes in Gaza. 

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh described the veto as “a disgrace” and another “blank cheque” given to the Israeli regime to “massacre, destroy and displace”.

Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, told the UNSC that condoning the continuation of war while claiming to care about the lives and safety of people in Gaza is” hypocritical” and “double-standards”.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador, said the US has “literally before our eyes issued a death sentence to thousands if not tens of thousands more civilians in Palestine and Israel.”

Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, noted that once again the UNSC has “failed with a lack of unity, and by refusing to commit to negotiations the crisis in Gaza is getting worse and the council is not completing its mandate under the charter.”

Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “the use of the veto at the Security Council is a shameful insult to humanitarian norms,” expressing deep regret that the US “should sacrifice the lives of innocent civilians for the cause of Zionism.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned that as long the US supports the crimes of the Israeli regime and the continuation of the war in Gaza, there would be the threat of an “uncontrollable explosion” of the situation in the region.

In a post on X, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his “strong objection” to the US vetoing the resolution, saying “It is strange and beyond human sanity when there are parties who support and remain silent regarding the massacre of innocent children and women as well as civilians.”

The United Arab Emirates’ deputy UN ambassador Mohamed Abushahab asked the UNSC, “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?” he added.

In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it was “deeply disappointed” by the failure of the UNSC’s call for a ceasefire in Gaza, stressing that Israel must put an end to its “brutal attacks and inhumane blockade” of the besieged enclave.

Norway Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said the UNSC’s inability to agree on a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons in Gaza “was tragic”.

Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International said in a statement on X that the US veto “displays a callous disregard for civilian suffering in the face of a staggering death toll”.

Washington “has brazenly wielded and weaponized its veto to strongarm the UN Security Council, further undermining its credibility and ability to live up to its mandate to maintain international peace and security,” the statement added.

Moreover, foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic nations also criticized the US veto, reiterating calls for Washington to assume its responsibilities and take the necessary measures to push Israel towards an immediate ceasefire.

The Arab-Islamic Ministerial Committee made the appeal during a meeting with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Saturday.

The foreign ministers also renewed their unified rejection of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza, reiterating the necessity to end the hostilities, protect civilians, and lift the siege hindering the access of humanitarian aid to the blockaded enclave.

They also voiced their rejection against attempts to displace Palestinians from Gaza, emphasizing on “creating a real political climate that leads to a two-state solution.”

On Friday, the US used its veto in the United Nations Security Council to block a draft resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Thirteen Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution, put forward by the United Arab Emirates, while the United Kingdom abstained.

The US and Israel oppose a ceasefire because they believe it would only benefit the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

The Israeli aggression has so far killed at least 17,400 Palestinians, most of them women and children. More than 46,000 people have been wounded as well.

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