According to the U.S., the resolution failed to sufficiently emphasise Israel’s “right to self-defence”.
The United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Wednesday that sought to condemn Hamas for its attack on Israel and called for a temporary ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.
The resolution, drafted by Brazil, gained support from 12 council members while Russia and the United Kingdom abstained from voting.
The American veto comes amidst rising tensions in the Middle East following an Israeli airstrike on the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, an attack that led to more some 500 Palestinian deaths according to Palestinian authorities.
The strike has been described as one of the deadliest in years and has incited widespread protests and condemnations from global leaders.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, defended America’s lone dissenting vote, stating, “We are on the ground doing the hard work of diplomacy. We believe we need to let that diplomacy play out.”
The U.S. took issue with the resolution’s apparent failure to emphasise Israel’s “right to self-defence”. Historically, the U.S. has often utilised its veto power in the Security Council to protect Israel from critical resolutions.
Israeli officials have blamed a “failed rocket launch” by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, while Palestinian officials blamed Israeli airstrikes for the attack that killed civilians seeking treatment and shelter.
Waleed Siam, the Palestinian ambassador to Japan, reported that the Christian-run Al-Ahli Arab Hospital had received a warning from the Israeli military an hour prior to the lethal strike.
The failed resolution had aimed to condemn violence against all civilians. It had garnered the backing of 12 council members who expressed their disappointment, particularly given the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.
In response to the US veto, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia criticised the U.S., stating, “We have just been witnesses once again of hypocrisy and the double standards of our American colleagues.”
Mass protests have erupted across the Middle East and North Africa, targeting embassies of Western governments.
Critics accuse Western nations, particularly the U.S., of applying double standards concerning potential Israeli violations of international law.
While the U.S. has said that Israel should take measures to minimise civilian casualties, it has offered unwavering support and refrained from direct criticism as Israeli operations continue to devastate Gaza.
Palestinian authorities report over 3,400 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries due to the Israeli onslaught.
This veto comes after Russia’s unsuccessful attempt earlier this week to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire, leading Russian officials to question the sincerity of U.S. commitments to international law and human rights, especially following criticisms of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.