Russia and China veto draft resolution on Gaza at UN Security Council
New York — Russia and China on Wednesday vetoed a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution on the war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in the Gaza Strip, while a rival Russian-drafted text failed to win the minimum number of votes.
The US draft aimed to address a worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, calling for pauses the violence to allow aid access. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined Russia and China in voting no, while 10 members voted in favour and Brazil and Mozambique abstained.
The council then voted on a Russian-drafted resolution that called for a humanitarian ceasefire. Only Russia, China, the UAE and Gabon voted in favour of the draft, while nine members abstained (Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland) and the US and Britain voted no.
A resolution needs at least nine votes and no vetoes by the US, France, Britain, Russia or China to be adopted.
The votes came after the council twice voted unsuccessfully last week — only five members voted in favour of a Russian draft resolution on October 16 and then the US vetoed a Brazilian draft text on October 18, which had received 12 yes votes.
The US proposed its own draft text on Saturday that initially shocked some diplomats with its bluntness in stating Israel has a right to defend itself and demanding Iran stop exporting arms to militant groups.
It then toned down the overall draft, removing direct references to Iran and to Israel’s right to self-defence.
But Russia announced on Tuesday that it could not support the US plan for action and put forward its own text.
Israel has vowed to wipe out the Hamas Islamist group that rules Gaza, after its gunmen burst through the barrier fence surrounding the enclave on October 7 and rampaged through Israeli towns and kibbutzes, killing 1,400 people.
Israel has since pounded Gaza from the air, imposed a siege and is preparing for a ground offensive. Palestinian authorities say more than 6,500 people have been killed in the enclave. The UN says about 1.4-million are homeless.
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