The United States has vetoed another United Nations Security Council draft resolution on Israel’s war on Gaza, blocking a demand for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Arab nations, led by Algeria, put the draft resolution to a vote on Tuesday with the expectation that it would not pass after the US, Israel’s key ally, had warned it would not back the text and proposed a rival draft instead.
The US was the only country to vote against the draft text, while the United Kingdom abstained. The UN Security Council’s 13 other member countries voted in favour of the text demanding a halt to the war that has killed more than 29,000 people in Gaza and displaced more than 80 percent of the population.
For a UN Security Council resolution to be adopted, it requires at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by any of the five permanent members: the US, UK, France, Russia or China.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, said her country was vetoing the resolution over concerns it would jeopardize talks between the US, Egypt, Israel and Qatar that seek to broker a pause in the war and the release of hostages held by Hamas.
She rejected claims that the veto was a US effort to cover for an imminent Israeli ground invasion into the southernmost Gazan city of Rafah, where some 1.4 million displaced people are sheltering.
In introducing the resolution on Tuesday, Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s ambassador to the UN, said the Council “cannot afford passivity” in the face of what is unfolding in Gaza and that silence is “not a viable option.”
Algeria, the current Arab member of the Security Council, put forward an initial draft resolution more than two weeks ago.
The US said on Monday that it had proposed a rival draft resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire and opposing a major ground offensive by Israel in Rafah.
Until now, Washington has been averse to the word “ceasefire” in any UN action on the war, but the draft resolution text echoes language that US President Joe Biden said he used last week in conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Washington traditionally shields Israel from UN action and has previously vetoed two other Security Council resolutions since the war began on October 7.

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