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    US vetoes UN resolution on Gaza ceasefire


    The world continues to look with concern to the south of the Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military offensive is looming. The UN Security Council is initially unable to call for a ceasefire due to a US veto.

    The United States has once again blocked a draft resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza war.

    In New York, the USA vetoed Council Member Algeria's proposed resolution. In view of concerns about an impending Israeli military offensive in the area around the refugee-filled city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, the proposal was otherwise widely supported by the other council members: 13 of the 15 council members voted for the draft. Great Britain abstained.

    The USA had already announced that it wanted to exercise a veto. Israel's close ally had tried in recent days to prevent a vote on the Algerian text – according to its own statements, in order not to endanger important negotiations on the release of hostages between Israel and the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas. According to observers, Washington was also concerned with using a veto not to be seen as a pioneer of Israel's conduct of war, which is increasingly being criticized.

    US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield defended the American actions immediately before the vote in the most powerful UN body. The adoption of a resolution could have led to “the fighting between Hamas and Israel expanding.” It's about forcing Hamas to agree to a deal with Israel. “Sometimes tough diplomacy takes more time than any of us would like,” said Thomas-Greenfield. She understands the Council's desire to act urgently.

    “If Rafah happens, there is no going back”

    In the past few months, the USA has already used three vetoes to protect Israel from Security Council resolutions. The USA's blockade stance has recently caused increasing frustration among the vast majority of the 15 council members. According to a senior official, the negotiations behind closed doors became significantly more emotional. If the US vetoed it, it would have to “take responsibility for everything that happens afterwards,” a senior council official said before the vote. “If Rafah happens, there is no going back.”

    While Russia's UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya strongly condemned the US actions on Tuesday, Chinese representative Zhang Jun said: “Given the situation on the ground, continued passive avoidance of an immediate ceasefire is nothing other than giving the green light to further slaughter. ” France's ambassador Nicolas de Rivière spoke of a “guilt” that the Security Council had to free itself from.

    In Rafah, the Israeli army is preparing for an invasion in order to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions and free suspected hostages there. However, the Israeli government has not yet issued an operational order. Military action in the southernmost city of the Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt is highly controversial because 1.5 million Palestinians are crowded there in a small area, most of whom had already fled fighting in other parts of the coastal area. Aid organizations also point to a catastrophic humanitarian situation.

    Solution uncertain until Ramadan

    Benny Gantz, a minister in Israel's war cabinet, made it clear on Sunday: “The world must know and Hamas leaders must know that if our hostages are not home by Ramadan, the fighting will continue and spread to Rafah.”

    However, it is uncertain whether international mediators will be able to negotiate a ceasefire and the release of hostages by the start of the Muslim fasting month on March 10.

    The Gaza war was triggered by the unprecedented massacre carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7th in Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. More than 1,200 people were killed in Israel and another 250 hostages were taken to the Gaza Strip.

    Israel: Ceasefire would mean immunity for baby killers

    The UN Security Council initially did not vote on its own American draft resolution. The text contains passages that indicate that the USA is distancing itself from the Israeli military operation. With reference to Israeli Rafah plans, it says, among other things, that “such a large-scale ground offensive should not be carried out under the current circumstances.”

    The text also calls for a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as possible.” The USA has long avoided the word ceasefire, rejected corresponding demands and has so far only advocated a pause in fighting. Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan spoke out against the call for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council meeting: The word was constantly mentioned “as if it were a magic bullet, a magical solution to all the region's problems.” But an end to the fighting would be tantamount to giving Hamas baby murderers and rapists immunity.

    UN Security Council resolutions are binding under international law. If countries defy them, the Council can impose sanctions and, in extreme cases, consider military intervention – although this currently appears impossible in the case of Israel.

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