UN resolution on Gaza postponed again due to US concerns

The Cradle, December 20, 2023 —

Washington has been using its veto power against a Gaza ceasefire resolution since October.

The UN Security Council’s (UNSC) adoption of a new UN resolution that seeks to send desperately needed aid to Gaza has been halted due to two issues of importance to the US, and it is now set to be held on 20 December. 

“We’re still working through the modalities of the resolution,” US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday when the vote was still set to take place. “It’s important for us that the rest of the world understand what’s at stake here and what Hamas did on the 7th of October and how Israel has a right to defend itself against those threats.”

The vote on the UAE-fronted resolution was scheduled for Monday but has now been postponed twice due to fears of another US veto

US Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative Robert Wood said during yesterday’s meeting that the 7 October Hamas-led operation against Israel “must be condemned” and the group should be stopped from being allowed to control Gaza in the future. 

Wood added that Israel should be given the right to defend its people and that Yemen’s attacks against Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea should be countered. 

He added that the council should work towards a two-state solution, something that Israeli officials have adamantly opposed

“We must hold space for the heartbreak on all sides,” Wood added. 

During Tuesday’s meeting, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Brazil, Sergio Franca Danese, said: “We are deeply concerned by the increase in the displacement of Palestinians from their homes.”  

“State violence has been on the rise, not just in Gaza, demolitions, evictions orders and other types of attacks against Palestinians and their households have further expanded in Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem,” Danese added.

Brazil‘s previous draft resolution had been rejected by a US veto in October. 

Vassily Nebenzia, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Russia, addressed the UNSC by telling them that over 19,000 people had lost their lives in Gaza, 70 percent of whom were women and children, while over two million Gazans had become internally displaced. 

“The victims of the indiscriminate Israeli actions are also amongst the Israeli hostages,” he said, noting the total blockade of Gaza by the Israelis, downed communications due to internet connectivity issues created by Israel, and harsh restrictions on humanitarian aid.

Nebenzia also noted the attacks in the West Bank, specifically the death of a mother and daughter in Jerusalem: “During the Holy Family festivities in the Church, which was a refuge for many families, an Israeli sniper killed two Christians … according to witness accounts there were no warnings issued,” he said, also noting that seven people were injured “as they tried to protect their loved ones.”

“We would like to underscore the fact that the clearing of the West Bank is something that Israel has been doing for a long time, even before 7 October, when there was no link to terror threats or security issues,” he added.

A draft resolution from Russia that sought a ceasefire in Gaza was also rejected by a US veto in October. 

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