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US Vetoes UN Security Council Condemnation of Israel Over Gaza Civilian Deaths

The United States vetoed a proposed statement in the UN Security Council, preventing the attribution of blame to Israeli forces for the deaths of civilians in a chaotic incident in Gaza City. During a late-night session, Arab nations encountered strong opposition from the US, hindering the statement that accused Israel of “intentionally targeting and killing” over 100 individuals in Gaza.

The proposed statement called on council members to express deep concern over reports indicating that more than 100 people lost their lives, with approximately 750 others sustaining injuries due to gunfire from Israeli forces. US Deputy Envoy to the UN, Robert Wood, cited a lack of complete information on the ground as a key challenge during consultations with the 15-member council, emphasizing the need for all facts to be considered.

Israel Hamas war, humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza

The Israeli military contended that the victims, seeking aid, were caught in a stampede, with some being run over by convoy vehicles. The statement faced a formidable hurdle as it required unanimous agreement from all council members to pass, and given the historical pattern of US vetoes against measures targeting Israel, achieving consensus seemed unlikely.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority’s envoy to the UN, disclosed that 14 members supported the statement drafted by Algeria. After a meeting with US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Mansour urged the Security Council to condemn the killings and pursue accountability for the alleged massacre. He acknowledged Thomas-Greenfield’s goodwill but noted the constraints imposed by Washington on the administration’s official stance.

In the aftermath of the incident, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed shock and criticized the Security Council’s perceived paralysis in addressing the situation.

The US veto underscores the complexities and divergent perspectives within the council regarding the Gaza incident, reflecting broader geopolitical tensions and differing interpretations of events on the ground.

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