US again vetoes UN resolution demanding immediate cease-fire in Gaza

A United Nations resolution, demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, was vetoed by the United States on Tuesday.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1 with only the United Kingdom abstaining, reflecting the wide global support for ending the more-than four-month war that started with Hamas' surprise invasion of southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people and saw 250 others taken hostage. 

Since then, more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's military offensive, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

It was the third U.S. veto of a Security Council resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza.

Why did the U.S. veto this resolution?

The Biden administration had said it would veto the resolution because of concerns it would interfere with efforts to arrange a deal between the warring parties aimed at bringing at least a six-week halt to hostilities and releasing all hostages.

U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood told several reporters Monday that the Arab-backed resolution was not "an effective mechanism for trying to do the three things that we want to see happen — which is get hostages out, more aid in, and a lengthy pause to this conflict."


People inspect the damage to their homes following Israeli air strikes on February 20, 2024 in Rafah, Gaza. Strikes have intensified as Israel reiterated its intent to press on with a ground offensive in Gaza's southern city of Rafah where some 1.4 m

In a surprise move ahead of the vote, the United States circulated a rival U.N. Security Council resolution that would support a temporary cease-fire in Gaza linked to the release of all hostages, and call for the lifting of all restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid. 

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in a statement Sunday, explained that the United States has been working on a hostage deal for months. She said U.S. President Joe Biden has had multiple calls over the last week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of Egypt and Qatar to push the deal forward.

What is happening on the ground?

Israel has threatened to move troops into Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, where one of the last bastions of Hamas terrorists and hostages – including Americans – is believed to be located.

On Friday, Biden made clear his feelings about Israel going into Rafah, telling reporters, "I'm hoping that the Israelis will not make a massive land invasion."

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A U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital, "We have also been clear that a full-scale Israel military operation in Rafah should not proceed until there is a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the more than 1 million people sheltering there."

What is next in the UN?

The Arab Group could take their resolution to the U.N. General Assembly, which includes all 193 U.N. member nations, where it is virtually certain to be approved. But unlike Security Council resolutions, assembly resolutions are not legally binding.

The Security Council will then likely start discussing the much-lengthier U.S. draft resolution, which would for the first time not only condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack but its hostage taking and killing, "murder, and sexual violence including rape." Some council members blocked the condemnation of Hamas in two previous council resolutions on Gaza.

The U.S. draft doesn't name Israel, but in a clear reference the draft "condemns calls by government ministers for the resettlement of Gaza and rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in Gaza that would violate international law."

Associated Press reporter Edith M. Lederer contributed.