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Russia’s UN envoy says US giving Israel ‘license to kill’ Palestinians

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York City.

Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations says an alternative draft resolution Washington has proposed on the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip simply paves the way for more Palestinian civilian deaths.

“This is not an alternative at all, but another license to kill Palestinian civilians that the US is determined to give Israel by submitting it to the UN Security Council this time. We urge the members of the Council not to support this destructive endeavor,” Vasily Nebenzia said in a speech at the Security Council on Wednesday.

“The alternative draft Security Council resolution on Gaza proposed by the US does not contain a call for a ceasefire and is aimed at extending the UN umbrella over the Israeli operation in the strip.”

Nebenzia said the United States was accountable for Israel’s campaign of death and destruction in the Palestinian territory.

“By blocking international efforts to stop the violence in Gaza, Washington bears full responsibility for the unprecedented number of civilian victims of this escalation, the number of which has already approached 30,000. This is the price of the American veto in the UN Council,” the Russian diplomat said.

He said the “only and vital imperative to prevent mass starvation in Gaza” was to halt hostilities and press Israel to comply with international humanitarian law.

“However, all attempts by the Council to adopt such a decision have been blocked by the US, which has used its veto four times. Against the backdrop of tens of thousands of dead and starving people in Gaza, the US delegation continues to cynically argue that a ceasefire is almost dangerous because it will undermine some fragile US diplomacy on the ground.”

On February 20, the US once again blocked adoption by the Security Council of a draft resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Thirteen of the 15 members of the Council, including Russia and China, voted in favor of the document submitted by Algeria. Britain abstained.

Nebenzia said ceasefire “is important first and foremost for the creation of safe, uninterrupted humanitarian corridors.”

“In addition to the delivery of aid through them, it is necessary to establish the evacuation of seriously ill people who, in the absence of treatment, face imminent death in Gaza.”

The Russian official also said the Security Council should take punitive measures against the countries that obstruct humanitarian access to Gaza.

“It is also important not to forget that the Security Council has the right to consider imposing sanctions against those who obstruct humanitarian access to those in need.”

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