The United States has vetoed calls to demand an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
United Nations states voted on a resolution to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza on Friday. The vote was supported by 13 of the 15 security council members.
With the United Kingdom abstaining, it was Washington’s veto that meant the demand was blocked. It came as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.
He argued Gaza is at a “breaking point”. Guterres said there was a serious threat of starvation and a risk of “mass displacement into Egypt”.
READ MORE: Frontline footage shows hair-raising moment IDF battles Hamas inside school
Arab diplomats made direct appeals for Joe Biden’s administration to drop its opposition to a ceasefire. However the US criticised the vote for failing to condemn Hamas’s bloodshed in Israel.
The group – which controls Gaza – launched a surprise attack on October 7. Since then tensions and fighting between Israel and the organisation have increased.
UK ambassador to the UN Dame Barbara Woodward said Britain backs “further and longer pauses” to get aid to Palestinians and to allow the release of Israeli hostages. But she argued to the council that “we cannot vote in favour of a resolution which does not condemn the atrocities Hamas committed against innocent Israeli civilians” in October.
Don’t miss… Terror fears soar as Israel warns of Hamas networks that could attack over Xmas[LATEST]
- Support fearless journalism
- Read The Daily Express online, advert free
- Get super-fast page loading
“Calling for a ceasefire ignores the fact that Hamas has committed acts of terror and is still holding civilians hostage,” she added, in explaining why Britain abstained.
Ziad Issa, head of humanitarian policy at ActionAid UK, said: “It is devastating to see the UK miss this critical opportunity to vote to call for a permanent ceasefire and end the unbearable suffering of 2.3 million people in Gaza.
“With aid operations no longer able to meaningfully function anywhere in the territory and infrastructure on the brink of collapse, now is the moment for international action. The scenes in Gaza have rightfully been described as apocalyptic. How much more death and destruction will it take before leaders put humanity first and decide enough is enough?”
Source: Read Full Article