Mint Explainer: Why the US vetoed a UN ceasefire vote on Israel-Palestine war

Israeli soldiers ride in a military vehicle, as smoke rises over Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near the border with Gaza, in southern Israel, (Reuters)
Israeli soldiers ride in a military vehicle, as smoke rises over Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near the border with Gaza, in southern Israel, (Reuters)

Summary

  • China and Russia have condemned America’s decision to veto the resolution, while the UAE has expressed its disappointment

A fresh attempt at the UN Security Council to secure a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Palestine war met with failure after the United States vetoed a resolution. America’s lone objection has attracted much comment and criticism, even as the conflict continues to claim lives. Mint looks into the implications of the US’ decision.

What exactly happened? 

On 8 December, the United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution advocating for an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. Thirteen countries voted for the resolution while the United Kingdom abstained and the United States vetoed the resolution.

The resolution came even as fighting continues in Gaza. While the death toll in the fighting is a matter of much speculation, international media reports have pointed to mounting casualties. The move for the resolution had come after the UN General Assembly in late October voted in large numbers for a humanitarian truce. 

Why did the US veto the resolution? 

America’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, has said that the resolution did not include a condemnation of militant group Hamas for its attack on Israel on 7 October, in which an estimated 1,200 people were killed. The resolution also did not note Israel’s right to self-defence, he said. 

Besides, American recommendations on the resolution had not been incorporated, Wood said, condemning the move as “divorced from reality". He also argued that calls for an unconditional ceasefire would allow Hamas to regroup.

What has been the reaction? 

While Israel thanked the United States for its continued support, the reaction from other quarters has been sharp. China and Russia condemned America’s decision to veto the resolution, while the UAE expressed its disappointment. International rights groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Médecins Sans Frontières have also criticised America’s decision.

What does this mean for the conflict? 

Thus far, there has been little to stop the conflict from rolling on. A brief ceasefire in November allowed for the exchange of hostages and the supply of some humanitarian aid. Israel has made it clear that rooting out Hamas and securing the release of hostages are its top priorities. This means the fighting is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
more

topics

MINT SPECIALS

Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App