Friday marked a contentious day at the United Nations as the United States took a solitary stand, vetoing a resolution calling for an urgent cease-fire in Gaza.
As reported by AP News, the move drew criticism from allies and heightened tensions over the prolonged conflict.
Supported by nearly all Security Council members, the resolution faced a 13-1 vote, with the United Kingdom abstaining. The U.S.'s isolation underscores a growing rift with close allies like France and Japan, who backed the plea for a halt to the hostilities.
Efforts by foreign ministers from Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to sway the Biden administration were in vain. Their meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken occurred after the UN vote, emphasizing the U.S.'s steadfast stance.
The U.S. deputy ambassador, Robert Wood, criticized the resolution as "imbalanced" and accused the council of neglecting Hamas' prior attack on Israel. Wood argued that a cease-fire would enable Hamas to continue its rule in Gaza, planting seeds for future conflicts.
Israel's sustained military campaign has taken a severe toll, with over 17,400 casualties in Gaza, predominantly women and children. The UN warned of a humanitarian catastrophe, urging a cease-fire to avert a breakdown of the support system in Gaza.
The U.S. veto drew condemnation from diplomats worldwide, with the UAE's deputy ambassador expressing deep disappointment. The Security Council's perceived isolation raises questions about its role in ensuring international peace and security.
As the situation in Gaza reaches a breaking point, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, emphasizing the risk of a total collapse of the humanitarian support system.
Guterres urged the council to demand a humanitarian cease-fire, citing the desperate conditions and the looming threat of starvation.
Despite the international outcry, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant thanked the U.S. for its "bold leadership," emphasizing the strategic importance of continued military action.
The aftermath of the U.S. veto leaves the Security Council grappling with its mandate, while the people of Gaza face an increasingly dire humanitarian crisis.
The international community watches anxiously as the conflict's toll continues to rise, questioning the efficacy of diplomatic efforts in the face of entrenched positions.
[With information sourced from AP News]