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US vetoes UN resolution calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza after proposing temporary halt to fighting

US vetoes UN resolution calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza after proposing temporary halt to fighting

 


CNN-

The United States has vetoed a United Nations resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, an expected move that, while favorable to Israel, comes amid signs of American frustration over the Israeli war .

The United States had already signaled its intention to veto the Algerian resolution, but became increasingly critical of Israel's conduct in Gaza and proposed its own draft resolution to the Council on Monday which calls for the first time for a temporary ceasefire in the conflict. against the launch of a Rafah offensive in southern Gaza.

For months, the administration had avoided using the term ceasefire. But its recent use by President Joe Biden, along with the latest US resolution, signals a shift, as the White House tries to help broker a deal between Israel and Hamas that would see the release of Israeli hostages and a further pause long in combat.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council that Algeria's proposed resolution would have a negative impact on ongoing negotiations in the region.

Voting today was wishful thinking and irresponsible, and while we cannot support a resolution that would jeopardize sensitive negotiations, we look forward to committing to text that we believe will satisfy many concerns that we all share, she said. after the vote.

The United States has become more alarmed and firmer in its criticism of the Israeli campaign as an offensive against Rafah looms. Biden noted earlier this month that the IDF's conduct had been exaggerated, and later told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that military action in Rafah should not proceed without a credible and enforceable plan to ensure security and support from civilians, according to a telephone exchange between the two leaders.

Biden then told reporters at the White House on Friday that he had conveyed to Netanyahu his position that there must be a temporary ceasefire to ensure the safe release of hostages still being held by Hamas, a pointed use of a term his administration had previously resisted.

While criticizing the Algerian resolution, the United States acknowledged that much of the world wants to see action at the United Nations, a U.S. official told CNN on Tuesday. The competing American resolution therefore aims to present an affirmative vision.

We say we hear the calls for action from the UN Security Council, the official added.

A vote on the US resolution is unlikely to take place this week, the official told CNN, not wanting to rush things given ongoing talks with Egypt and Qatar which the Biden administration says , would be more effective in getting Israeli hostages out of Gaza, humanitarian aid in, and stopping the fighting.

“We simply were not able to support a resolution today that was going to jeopardize sensitive negotiations and that is what we believe this resolution would do,” the spokesperson for the Democratic Party told reporters on Tuesday. White House National Security Council, John Kirby.

Tuesday's vote on Algeria's proposed measure came ahead of a planned Israeli offensive in Rafah, Gaza's southernmost town where more than a million and a half Palestinians are crowded together without a clear escape route.

Under current circumstances, a major ground offensive on Rafah would result in additional harm to civilians and their displacement, including potentially to neighboring countries, a draft US resolution says, adding that a ground offensive of such scale should not take place in the current circumstances.

Negotiations over the release of hostages and the humanitarian pause have failed to produce a breakthrough, despite a high-level meeting in Cairo last week attended by the intelligence chiefs of the United States, Israel , Egypt and the Qatari Prime Minister.

We very much want a deal and we know we have to pay the price. But Hamas' demands are disconnected from illusory reality, Israeli coordinator for the captives and missing Gal Hirsch told CNN on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Hirsch said Israel wanted proof that the medicine sent to Gaza for the hostages actually reached them, to prove that Hamas will honor its commitments.

Hamas leaders based outside Gaza returned to Cairo on Tuesday for more talks while White House Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk returned to the Middle East.

McGurk is expected to be in Cairo on Wednesday and in Israel on Thursday, according to a U.S. official, and the bulk of the trip will focus on hostage negotiations.

More than 29,000 people have died in Gaza since Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7, according to the besieged enclave's health ministry.

A deepening humanitarian crisis has gripped the Gaza Strip, where hospitals have stopped functioning and supplies of food, water, electricity and life-saving medical care are dangerously low.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and MJ Lee contributed to this report.

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