UN Security Council fails to pass US resolution calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

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UN Security Council fails to pass US resolution calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza © Reuters. A boy stands next to canned food on the day of Friday prayers during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 22, 2024. REUTERS/Mohamm

By Daphne Psaledakis and David Brunnstrom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United Nations Security Council on Friday failed to pass a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal after Russia and China vetoed the measure proposed by the United States.

The resolution called for an “immediate and sustained ceasefire” lasting roughly six weeks that would protect civilians and allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

“The vast majority of this council voted in favor of this resolution, but unfortunately Russia and China decided to exercise its veto,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council.

Before the vote, she said it would be a “historic mistake” for the council not to adopt the resolution.

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, also speaking before the vote, called on members not to vote in favor of the resolution. He said the resolution was “exceedingly politicized” and contained an effective green light for Israel to mount a military operation in Rafah on the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, where more than half of its 2.3 million residents have been sheltering in makeshift tents to escape the Israeli assault farther north.

“This would free the hands of Israel and it would result in all of Gaza and its entire population, having to face destruction, devastation, or expulsion,” Nebenzia told the meeting.

He said a number of non-permanent members of the Security Council had drafted an alternate resolution, which he called a balanced document, and said there was no reason for members not to support it.

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