War in Gaza "A turning point in history": the international community criticizes the US veto of the ceasefire in Gaza

International pressure and the efforts of UN Secretary General António Guterres have failed to convince the United States, which has vetoed for the second time since October 7 a UN Security Council resolution demanding a "stop to immediate humanitarian fire" in the Gaza Strip

War in Gaza "A turning point in history": the international community criticizes the US veto of the ceasefire in Gaza

International pressure and the efforts of UN Secretary General António Guterres have failed to convince the United States, which has vetoed for the second time since October 7 a UN Security Council resolution demanding a "stop to immediate humanitarian fire" in the Gaza Strip.

The draft resolution, invoked by the United Arab Emirates and supported by dozens of countries, had gone through multiple changes in the last few hours to try to achieve its approval. The final text was amended to state that both "Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations must be protected in accordance with international humanitarian law" and to demand the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas.

The resolution required at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes from the five permanent members: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France. The text received thirteen votes in favor, the United States rejecting it and the United Kingdom abstained.

"After 63 days of war, there is nothing left to say, only to act," said the deputy permanent representative of the UAE, Mohamed Issa Abushahab, the country that proposed the resolution. The Israeli offensive in Gaza has left more than 17,000 Palestinians dead and more than a million displaced, while the Hamas attack has left 1,100 Israelis dead.

Washington vetoed the resolution because it believes, like Israel, that a ceasefire could benefit Hamas militants on the ground. The US deputy ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, noted that the text was "divorced from reality." "We do not support this resolution's call for an unsustainable ceasefire that will only plant the seeds for the next war," he said.

The president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, reacted to hold the United States "responsible for the bloodshed of Palestinian children, women and the elderly in the Gaza Strip at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces." The top leader of the Palestinian entity that governs the West Bank called Washington's decision "immoral," in a statement issued by the ANP.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the vote "a turning point in history" and a "blank check" given to Israel so it can continue its military offensive. "If you are against the destruction and displacement of the Palestinian people, you must oppose this war. And if you support it, then you are allowing this destruction and displacement regardless of your intentions... Millions of Palestinian lives hang in the balance," said the Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour.

"What is the message we are sending to the Palestinians if we cannot unite behind a call to stop the bombings in Gaza?" criticized the UAE ambassador to the UN, Mohamed Abushahab.

For its part, China warned that tolerating the continuation of fighting while the international community affirms that it is concerned about the humanitarian situation "is contradictory" and that it once again shows "the double standards" of many countries.

Meanwhile, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, charged not only against the United States but also against the ineffectiveness of the United Nations. "We have no hope in the UN Security Council. With the American veto there was no ceasefire decision. It has been proven once again that the world is bigger than five," he declared, referring to the five powers with the right to vote -and veto- in the highest body of the United Nations. Elaborating on this idea, he pointed out that the UN must be reformed. "I believe that this incapable and non-functional structure of the UN will be questioned in the world after Gaza," he stressed.

International humanitarian organizations pointed out that the US veto not only allows the situation in Gaza to worsen, it also undermines the functioning of international mechanisms such as UN resolutions. The Secretary General of Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, noted that Washington's veto "shows a callous disregard for the suffering of civilians" and accused the United States of "using its veto as a weapon to force the UN Security Council, undermining its credibility even more."

The head of the UN for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, noted that it is the "darkest hour" in the history of the organization and that after losing 130 members in Israeli attacks, the agency is "barely" operational in Gaza.

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised his ally's "correct" stance in a video: "I really appreciate the correct position that the United States took in the UN Security Council." Netanyahu stressed that his government will continue with what he called a "just war" against Hamas.

"Other countries should also understand that it is impossible, on the one hand, to support the elimination of Hamas, and on the other, to call for an end to the war that will prevent the elimination of Hamas," said the Israeli premier.

He did so after the US reiterated to the Arab League its commitment to guarantee humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza. The leaders of the pan-Arab organization expressed their discontent to Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in a meeting last night in Washington.

Blinken once again conveyed to them "the United States' commitment to achieving lasting peace and security in the region, including through the establishment of a future Palestinian State alongside the State of Israel," according to a statement this Saturday from the State Department reproduced by the Efe agency.

The failed resolution came shortly after António Guterres on Wednesday invoked Article 99 of the United Nations Charter, which allows him to bring a threat to global security to the attention of the Security Council.

This tool has been invoked three times during the organization's history, during the Congo crisis in 1960, for the American hostage crisis in Iran in 1979, and in Lebanon in 1989. The tool is, in essence, a call from attention to the Security Council to act against the "deterioration" of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Guterres said in a letter. Israel rejected the call and called the UN secretary a "danger to world peace."