US ‘Condemned Tens of Thousands to Death’ – US Vetoes UN Resolution

UN Security Council meeting. (Photo: via UN Website)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The United States condemned thousands of Palestinian and Israeli civilians to death by vetoing a resolution calling for a ceasefire, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said.

“Our American colleagues have condemned thousands – if not tens of thousands .. to death, along with the UN workers who are trying to help them. History will assess what Washington has done,” he noted.

Polyansky’s statement followed a vote on a draft resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

The US has vetoed the draft. Thirteen out of the UN Security Council’s 15 members, including Russia and China, voted for the resolution, while the UK abstained.

US Veto

US Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Robert Wood claimed that the resolution was “divorced from reality.” He noted that the document had failed to condemn the Palestinian movement Hamas and reaffirm Israel’s right to self-defense.

Polyansky pointed out that the UNSC had been unable to demand a ceasefire for two months due to Washington’s “obstinate, selfish and destructive position.”


The United Nations Security Council began an emergency meeting at 10 AM New York time to discuss the catastrophic situation in Gaza, the UN News website reported.

The meeting followed Wednesday’s letter by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter and urging the body to help end Israel’s aggression in the war-torn enclave with a humanitarian ceasefire.

Following the discussion, UNSC members were expected to vote on “a draft resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire as well as an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”

According to Reuters news agency, the vote “was delayed by several hours on Friday until after a planned meeting between Arab ministers and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.”

The 15-member council was supposed to vote on a brief draft resolution on Friday morning New York time, but, according to Reuters, it is “now scheduled to vote at 5.30 pm (2230 GMT)”.

The vote eventually took place, but was blocked by the US, in an act that was widely condemned by representatives of many countries around the world.


Earlier in the day, the Palestine Chronicle followed statements made by UNSC members, summarizing them in the live blog below:  

QATAR: We reject any plans to displace Palestinians

Qatar’s representative to the United Nations, Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, called on the Security Council to adopt the draft resolution submitted by the Arab Group. We call on the international community to increase urgent humanitarian support to the residents of the Gaza Strip.

UK: Civilians Must Be Protected

Barbara Woodward, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom (UK) to the UN, said: “We need to respond, and to respond with urgency.”

“The sheer scale of civilians killed is shocking,” she added.

She said that the UK continues to support Israel’s right to defend itself but she stated: “We are absolutely clear that Israel must be targeted and precise in achieving that goal.”

“Civilians must be protected,” she underscored.


France: We Call for Immediate, Lasting Truce

France’s Permanent Representative Nicolas de Rivière reiterated his country’s call for “a new, immediate and lasting humanitarian truce”, which must lead to a permanent ceasefire.

Given the gravity of the situation, he said France deplored the decision of the Israeli authorities not to renew the visa of Lynn Hastings, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, who is now due to leave next week.

We must also put an end to Hamas’ actions and “it is unacceptable that this Security Council has not yet been able to condemn these acts”, he said.


US: We Do Not Support Calls for Immediate Ceasefire

Robert A. Wood, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States (US) to the UN, said that Hamas continues to pose a threat to Israel and remain in charge of Gaza.

“For that reason, while the US strongly supports a durable peace in which both Israel and Palestine can live in peace and security, we do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire. This would only plant the seeds for the next war, because Hamas has no desire to see a durable peace, to see a two-State solution,” he said.

In his remarks, the Ambassador said that Israel must respect international humanitarian law and conduct its operations in a way that minimizes civilian harm.

He also noted that civilians displaced in Gaza must have an opportunity to return as soon as conditions permit.

“There must be no enduring displacement or reduction in Gaza’s territory. Under no circumstances would the US support forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank,” he said.

China: Member States Must Act

The Representative of China Zhang Jun, praised the Secretary-General for his statement on the seriousness of the situation in Gaza.

The draft resolution submitted by the UAE reflects the call of the international community, which China supports and co-sponsors because only an immediate ceasefire will save lives and pave the way for the two-state solution, Zhang added.

“A larger crisis is imminent,” and regional peace and security are “on the precipice”. The world is watching. Member States must act, he warned.

Russia: Save Palestinians from ‘Extermination’

Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Dmitry Polyansky, said that following the brief humanitarian pause, Israel, with the “proactive support” of the United States, moved on to a new, even more bloody phase of its ground operation in Gaza.

Polyansky quoted from Guterres’s letter, emphasizing the desperate conditions being faced by Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Russian deputy ambassador also said that so far, the Security Council has not adopted any clear, binding decision. The discussions here amount only to “empty words”, he said.

Today the Council has a good opportunity “to end this abnormal situation and do what the international community expects of it”, he declared.

Polyansky reiterated that Russia considers no alternative to the “two-State formula”. However, he stated that today, the primary task is to stop hostilities and “save Palestinian civilians from extermination.”

UAE: Security Council Must Act

Mohamed Issa Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the UN said that, for many Gazans, “their entire world is systematically demolished before their eyes”.

He stated the Security Council must act on the crisis when too little aid is getting in and humanitarian workers are unable to deliver it for fear of getting killed.

“There is literally no safe haven for the millions of people trapped and under attack,” the Ambassador said.

Israel: Ceasefire Would Prolong Hamas ‘Reign of Terror’

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador, said the world has been reeling from the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Yet not once, has Article 99 of the UN Charter been invoked by the current Secretary-General, citing other grinding conflicts which have destabilized entire regions.

He said regional stability in the Middle East can “only be achieved once Hamas is eliminated”. Calling for a ceasefire would not achieve that end, he insisted.

Palestine Envoy, Riyad Mansour

Riyad Mansour, permanent envoy of the Observer State of Palestine to the UN, outlined the impact of the strikes by Israel, saying the bombardment “placed every possible impediment on humanitarian aid and access.”

“And we are all supposed to pretend that this aggression is not aimed at the destruction of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, when it has besieged and bombed our people and deprived them of all requirements of life?”, Mansour asked.

“I keep reading in the media that Israel has no clear war objectives, are we supposed to pretend that we don’t know the objective is the ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip?”

“When you refuse to call for a ceasefire, you are refusing to call for the only thing that can put an end to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. This is how Israel is conducting the war, through atrocities,” Mr. Mansour concluded.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

“I fear the consequences could be devastating for the security of the entire region”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Council on Friday, adding that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “simply becoming untenable.”

“There is a high risk of the total collapse of the humanitarian support system in Gaza, which would have devastating consequences,” Guterres said, noting that there is also a serious risk of starvation and famine.

After reiterating his “unreservedly condemnation” of Hamas’ attack on October 7, Guterres urged “the Council to spare no effort to push for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, for the protection of civilians, and for the urgent delivery of lifesaving aid”.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out