Washington, The Gulf Observer: The United States vetoed a United Nations resolution Friday backed by almost all other Security Council members and dozens of other nations demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza. Supporters called it a terrible day and warned of more civilian deaths and destruction as the war goes into its third month.
The vote in the 15-member council was 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining. The United States’ isolated stand reflected a growing fracture between Washington and some of its closest allies over Israel’s monthslong bombardment of Gaza. France and Japan were among those supporting the call for a cease-fire.
In a vain effort to press the Biden administration to drop its opposition to calling for a halt to the fighting, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were all in Washington on Friday. But their meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken took place only after the U.N. vote.
Along with the vote, the Arab diplomats’ mission served to shift responsibility more squarely onto the United States for protecting Israel from growing demands to stop the airstrikes that are killing thousands of Palestinian civilians.
“What is the message we are sending Palestinians if we cannot unite behind a call to halt the relentless bombardment of Gaza?” United Arab Emirates deputy ambassador Mohamed Abushaha asked after the vote. “Indeed, what is the message we are sending civilians across the world who may find themselves in similar situations?”