U.S. to veto UNSC ceasefire resolution

The Algeria-backed call as it stands would jeopardize a potential hostage deal and is therefore unacceptable, said the American ambassador.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The United States is set to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, the American ambassador to the international body said Saturday.

As a temporary member of the UNSC, Algeria had wanted to introduce the call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and unimpeded humanitarian aid already some two weeks ago. It had backed off after Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said it could put a potential hostage deal at risk, but with the support of the Arab countries in the UN, it is now thinking to bring it to the Council on Tuesday.

The U.S. is still against the move, Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement, because it could scuttle the hostage deal that the White House has been working hard on, which could also answer the needs of the resolution.

“Over the last week, President Biden has had multiple calls with [Israeli] Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, to push this deal forward. Though gaps remain, the key elements are on the table,” she said.

“We believe this deal represents the best opportunity to reunite all hostages with their families and enable a prolonged pause in fighting, that would allow for more lifesaving food, water, fuel, medicine, and other essentials to get into the hands of Palestinian civilians who desperately need it,” the envoy continued.

“The resolution put forward in the Security Council, in contrast, would not achieve these outcomes, and indeed, may run counter to them … For that reason, the United States does not support action on this draft resolution. Should it come up for a vote as drafted, it will not be adopted,” Thomas-Greenfield added. “It is critical that other parties give this process the best odds of succeeding, rather than push measures that put it — and the opportunity for an enduring resolution of hostilities — in jeopardy.”

She urged instead for the UNSC to put more pressure on Hamas “to accept the proposal on the table” that the terror organization had rejected.

Hamas had come back with a counter-proposal whose terms included a guaranteed end to the war and complete IDF withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, along with the release of 500 hardened terrorists it could choose in addition to many others Israel would pick to free. Israel has vetoed such a deal, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it “delusional,” and one that no sane country would accept.

Read  Hamas rejects 'generous' ceasefire, hostage deal

Hamas has since suspended the hostage and ceasefire negotiations.

For a resolution to pass in the Security Council, nine of 15 members have to vote for it, and none of those with veto rights can wield their vote against it. The U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain and France have veto rights.

So far, the U.S. has vetoed two other UNSC resolutions on the Israel-Hamas war, protecting Israel’s right to defend itself from the terrorist organization that sparked the conflict on October 7, 2023 when some 3,000 armed men invaded Gazan envelope communities, massacred 1,200 people including infants and the elderly, and took 253 hostages.

Of these, 103 are believed to still be alive in Gaza, with 32 others having died or been murdered in captivity. Three have been rescued, and 109 women and children were freed in a week-long exchange for Palestinian prisoners and humanitarian aid at the end of November.