UNSC resolution for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza blocked by UStext_fields
United Nations: A UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza has been vetoed by the US.
Thirteen of the fifteen members of the Security Council supported the resolution, which was drafted by the United Arab Emirates and supported by over a hundred countries. Britain abstained on Friday.
According to Xinhua news agency, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a truce by invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter, the organization's most powerful body.
Article 99 states, "The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."
The text of the resolution called for an immediate halt of fighting between Hamas and Israel, and the protection of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians under international humanitarian law. It also demanded the "immediate and unconditional release of all hostages".
Palestine's ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, told the council that the result of the vote was "disastrous," adding: "Millions of Palestinian lives hang in the balance. Every single one of them is sacred, worth saving."
He said that it was "beyond regrettable" that the Security Council was hindered from fulfilling its duties -- via a newly adopted resolution -- amid the crisis.
Rather than enabling the council to execute its charge by at least issuing a definitive appeal, after two months of mass killings and atrocities, "the war criminals are given more time to perpetrate their crimes," Mansour added.
"How can this be justified? How can anyone justify the slaughter of an entire people?" he said.
With inputs from IANS