The United States has vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have called for “humanitarian pauses” to deliver lifesaving aid to the people in Gaza.
The resolution would have also condemned violence against all civilians in the Israel-Hamas war including “the heinous terrorists attacks by Hamas” against Israel.
Twelve of the 15 Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution sponsored by Brazil. The United States voted against the resolution. There were two abstentions; Russia and the United Kingdom.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said after the vote on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, that U.S President Joe Biden is in the region engaging in diplomacy to secure the release of hostages, prevent the conflict from spreading, and to emphasize the need to protect civilians.
The explanation given by the U.S was that the draft resolution did not mention strongly enough, did not mention at all, Israel’s right to defend itself. That was a non-starter for the U.S.
Many countries expressed disappointment that they could not compromise and come up with a resolution.
In an address to the Security Council after the U.S vetoed humanitarian pauses in the conflict, UN Under-Secretary-General, Martin Griffiths reiterated that there are rules of war “whatever the provocation.”
“All parties to armed conflict must protect civilians and civilian objects and take constant care to spare them from any attack. We have discussed this in almost every other conflict in this chamber around the world; this one is no different.”Martin Griffiths
Aicha Elbasri, a former United Nations official, criticized the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“It’s irrelevant when it comes to securing peace, especially at a time when everyone is fearing the worst – not only in Gaza but in the region,” Elbasri told a news agency.
Elbasri noted that Israel has never been forced to abide by the UN resolutions ordering an end to its occupation of Palestine.
“The Security Council has not been able to implement its own resolutions because the five permanent members – instead of being a policeman – unfortunately what we’ve seen over the years, they’ve sort of turned into gangsters. This is the reality.”Aicha Elbasri
Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also condemned the UN Security Council for failing to pass the resolution for a humanitarian pause in the Gaza war.
Erdogan stated that Turkish efforts to establish calm in the region have been hindered by the “collective punishment” of Palestinians through air strikes and the deployment of U.S aircraft carriers to the region.
“The United Nations Security Council, which has become even more ineffective, has once again not fulfilled its responsibility. Western countries – which leave no stone unturned when it comes to human rights and freedoms – have taken no steps other than adding fuel to the fire.”Recep Tayyip Erdogan
U.S Says Israel Not Responsible For Attack On al-Ahli Arab Hospital
Also on Wednesday, the White House stated that a current intelligence assessment shows Israel was not behind the explosion at al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.
It added, however, that information was still being collected.
National Security Council Spokesperson, Adrienne Watson noted on social media, “While we continue to collect information, our current assessment – based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information – is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday.”
Earlier, U.S President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu that “based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.”
There have been conflicting claims of who was responsible for the hospital blast.
Officials in Gaza quickly blamed an Israeli airstrike. Israel denied it and attributed the explosion to a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) armed group. The PIJ has denied the allegation.