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June 19, 2024

US Vetoes UN Ceasefire Resolution as Israel Continues Airstrikes in Gaza

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Dec 10, 2023

Over 170 Palestinians, including 41 children, killed in latest violence

Israel continued its airstrikes in Gaza on Sunday after the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire the previous day.

The draft resolution, proposed by the United Arab Emirates, demanded an “immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire” to halt the worst violence in Gaza and Israel in years. It passed with 14 votes in favor but was blocked by the US. China and Russia also abstained.

More than 170 Palestinians, including at least 47 children, have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, while over 1200 have been injured according to health officials. At least 12 have died in Israel from Palestinian rocket attacks.

“The United States is taking every step we can to bring an end to the violence,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield said. She added that Washington was focused on diplomatic efforts to reach a ceasefire.

US allies condemned the move, accusing Washington of double standards in its reaction compared to the quick ceasefires it demands when countries like Russia invade neighbors.

Netanyahu defends “war to eliminate Hamas infrastructure”

The ongoing offensive in Gaza is the heaviest fighting between Israel and Hamas since a war in 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended it as a necessary campaign to eliminate Palestinian militant capabilities.

“We are carrying out a precise campaign to eliminate Hamas’ infrastructure and its capabilities,” Netanyahu said in a speech on Friday. He added that Israel “will not compromise” on its security.

The Israeli military said it struck 140 Hamas militant targets in Gaza overnight in retaliation for rocket attacks. These included alleged weapons production and storage facilities, military compounds, training camps, and rocket launching sites.

Palestinian officials said an overnight strike killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in southern Gaza City. Militant groups have fired hundreds more rockets at Israeli cities over recent days, sending thousands into shelters.

International efforts to broker ceasefire continue

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres vowed on Saturday to continue pushing diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire despite the US veto.

“The secretary-general deeply regrets that a formula could not be found to allow the council to express a unified position,” his spokesman said, adding that Guterres would undertake “intense diplomatic efforts…to bring an end to this devastating conflict.”

Turkey and Iran strongly criticized the US decision while European allies expressed regret. French President Emmanuel Macron said he would continue working with Egypt and Jordan to reach a truce.

Qatar’s ruler spoke to US President Joe Biden by phone to discuss “urgent need for immediate ceasefire,” the Qatari foreign ministry said on Sunday. Biden reaffirmed US support for Israel’s right to self-defense in the call while encouraging a “path to restoring a sustainable calm.”

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria and Morocco are set to hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the crisis.

Country Position
United States Vetoed UNSC ceasefire resolution
United Kingdom Expressed regret over US veto
France Working with regional countries towards ceasefire
China Abstained from voting
Russia Abstained from voting
Qatar Pushing for immediate ceasefire
Turkey Strongly criticized US veto
Iran Strongly criticized US veto

Mounting Palestinian death toll sparks anger

Gaza health officials warned on Sunday that hospitals were overwhelmed. The Palestinian health ministry distributed a list naming 47 children killed since the violence erupted earlier in the week.

“We urgently need $7 million to respond to health, water and food needs in Gaza for the next three months,” said Médecins Sans Frontières’s head of mission for Palestine. “Anything short of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza will cost more lives.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed the US for the rising death toll. “The US administration has become a partner with (Israel) in the aggression and therefore it is responsible for this genocide,” he said.

Protests erupted in Palestinian cities and towns in the occupied West Bank condemning Israel and the US veto. Protesters held signs reading “Gaza resists” and burned American flags. Smaller demonstrations were also held in capitals like Istanbul, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur and Athens.

Rallies in support of Palestinians took place in cities across the US, UK and Europe over the weekend as well. Thousands marched in London, Berlin, Madrid and Amsterdam calling for their governments to take action.

Next steps

Diplomatic efforts to halt violence will continue this week even without a Security Council call for both sides to lay down arms immediately.

Qatar’s ruler is expected to travel to Washington in the coming days to meet President Biden and push the US to get more actively involved. Neighboring Egypt is also attempting to mediate a return to an informal truce.

Inside Israel, Netanyahu is facing calls from members of his coalition to avoid another full blown war. Hamas likewise cannot afford a prolonged conflict in the densely populated territory where over 2 million Palestinians live.

But US reluctance to demand an immediate end to strikes may mean more days or weeks of violence as talks drag on. The civilian death toll could continue rising rapidly as Israeli forces attempt to batter Gaza militant groups into submission.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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