Russia, China veto US-led Gaza ceasefire resolution at UN

TEHRAN :– Russia and China have vetoed a US-drafted resolution calling for, but not directly demanding, a ceasefire in the Israeli campaign of death and destruction in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Eleven members in the 15-member UN Security Council voted for the resolution on Friday. Three voted against it, including Russia, China and Algeria. Guyana abstained.

The votes of Russia and China, two of the permanent Security Council members, counted as vetoes.

Before the vote, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said his country backs an immediate ceasefire, but questioned the language in the resolution.

He said the US resolution did not directly demand a ceasefire but rather “determines the imperative” of a ceasefire.

“To save the lives of the peaceful Palestinian civilians, this is not enough,” Nebenzia said. Any Security Council member voting for the resolution “will cover yourselves in disgrace,” the Russian ambassador said.

Pointing out that the US had vetoed three ceasefire resolutions and one Russian amendment since the bombardment of Gaza started in October, the Russian diplomat said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield are “misleading the international community” for “politicized” reasons.

Nebenzia accused the US of a “hypocritical spectacle,” saying the proposal contained an “effective green light” for Israel to launch a military offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than half of the population of 2.4 million has been forcibly displaced.

China’s representative, Zhang Jun, also censured the draft, saying it “dodged the most central issue, that of a ceasefire” through its “ambiguous” language.

“Nor does it even provide an answer to the question of realizing a ceasefire in the short term.”

Commenting on Algeria’s rejection of the US resolution, the Algerian Ambassador to the UN, Amar Bendjama, also underscored the absence of a direct demand for an immediate ceasefire.

“The text presented today does not convey a clear message of peace,” Bendjama told the Council. “It is a laissez passer to continue killing the Palestinian civilians.”

Separately, the 10 elected members of the Security Council have been drafting another resolution with a direct demand for a ceasefire, but the US envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Washington would veto that text if it was presented for a vote.

The US diplomat claimed it would jeopardize the ongoing negotiations in Qatar on a deal which would establish a ceasefire in return for the release of the Israeli captives taken by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Israel launched the campaign in Gaza on October 7 after Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the decades-long Israeli campaign of bloodletting and devastation against the Palestinians.


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