UAE 'deeply disappointed' over UN Gaza vote as US vetoes ceasefire call

Vote in 15-member Security Council was 13-1, with the UK abstaining, reflecting the strong support for the resolution


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Published: Wed 21 Feb 2024, 8:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 21 Feb 2024, 9:09 AM

The UAE said it was 'deeply disappointed' with the outcome of the UN Security Council resolution on Tuesday, which called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel's continuous bombardment of the territory.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1 with the UK abstaining, reflecting the strong support from countries around the globe for ending the war. But the United States vetoed the resolution submitted by Algeria

It was the third U.S. veto of a Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and came a day after the United States circulated a rival resolution that would support a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all hostages.

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In a statement, the UAE Mission to UN said, "The UAE is deeply disappointed with the outcome of today's vote in the UN Security Council on the humanitarian ceasefire draft resolution, which was supported by 13 of the 15 members. After more than four months of carnage and no end in sight, this war must end."

Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, said, "Vetoing the draft resolution submitted by Algeria in the Security Council, which calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, is regrettable and deepens the humanitarian catastrophe.

"The international order based on clear and frank legal foundations is once again collapsing in the face of narrow political considerations in light of unprecedented human suffering, the price of which is being paid by civilians."

Since Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on Oct 7, which killed 1,200 people and 250 were taken hostage, more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s military offensive, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which says the vast majority were women and children.

Virtually every council member — including the United States — expressed concern at the impending catastrophe in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, where some 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge, if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes ahead with his plan to evacuate civilians and move Israel’s military offensive to the area bordering Egypt, where Israel says Hamas fighters are hiding.

Before the vote, Algeria’s U.N. Ambassador Amar Bendjama, the Arab representative on the council, said: “A vote in favour of this draft resolution is a support to the Palestinians right to life. Conversely, voting against it implies an endorsement of the brutal violence and collective punishment inflicted against them.”

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield countered by saying the United States understands the desire for urgent action but believes the resolution would “negatively impact” sensitive negotiations on a hostage deal and a pause in fighting for at least six weeks. If that happens, “we can take the time to build a more enduring peace,” she said.

The proposed U.S. resolution, she said, “would do what this text does not — pressure Hamas to take the hostage deal that is on the table and help secure a pause that allows humanitarian assistance to reach Palestinian civilians in desperate need.”


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