World slams US ceasefire veto at UN Security Council on Israel’s Gaza war – Al Jazeera English

Russia pledges not to give up as China says US veto gives a green light for Israel’s continued slaughter in Gaza.
The United States has again vetoed a draft UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Israel’s war on Gaza, prompting widespread criticism from rivals and allies alike.
The move on Tuesday was the third US veto of a UNSC resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, and came a day after Washington circulated a resolution that would support a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all Israeli captives from the Palestinian enclave.
The vote in the 15-member council was 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining, reflecting the strong support from countries around the globe for ending the devastating conflict that has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians.
Here’s how countries and world leaders responded.
Zhang Jun, China’s envoy to the UN, expressed “strong disappointment and dissatisfaction” with the US, according to the Xinhua news agency.
“The US veto sends a wrong message, pushing the situation in Gaza into a more dangerous one,” said Zhang, adding that objection to a ceasefire in Gaza is “nothing different from giving the green light to the continued slaughter”.
“Only by extinguishing the flames of war in Gaza can the world prevent the fires of hell from engulfing the entire region,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.
Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia said the US veto marked “another black page in the history of the Security Council”.
He accused the US of trying to play for time so that Israel could complete its “inhumane plans” for Gaza, namely to squeeze the Palestinians out of the territory and completely “cleanse” the enclave.
He added that no matter how bitter the “aftertaste” of the vote may be, “we are not in the mood to give up”.
France’s UN envoy Nicolas de Riviere expressed regret that the resolution “could not be adopted, given the disastrous situation” in Gaza.
De Riviere added that France, which voted for the resolution, would continue to work towards all captives being released and for a ceasefire to be “implemented immediately”.
France regrets that the 🇩🇿 resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza could not be adopted, given the disastrous situation on the ground.
All hostages must be released now and a ceasefire must be implemented immediately.
France will remain committed at the UNSC to that end. pic.twitter.com/dqwSWwgVQZ
— Nicolas de Rivière (@NDeRiviere) February 20, 2024

Algeria’s envoy said the UNSC has “failed once again” and warned the move could have profound consequences for the Middle East as a whole.
“Our message to you today is that the international community should respond to the calls for ending the killing of Palestinians by calling for an immediate ceasefire. All those impeding such calls should review their policies and their calculations because wrong decisions today will have a cost on our region and our world tomorrow. And this cost will be violence and instability,” Amar Bendjama said.
“So ask yourselves, examine your conscience. What will your decisions today cause? How will history judge you?”
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told Al Jazeera that the US veto was “very regrettable”.
“Call it whatever, humanitarian, describe it as you wish, but immediate ceasefire, as requested by the secretary-general of the UN, and almost all humanitarian agencies of the United Nations, and a massive number of countries in the General Assembly,” he said.
“It is the wrong message to be sending by the Security Council to Israel.
“We will continue knocking on the door of the Security Council, the General Assembly, all components of the United Nations,” he added.

The Palestinian group said the administration of US President Joe Biden’s decision to block Algeria’s draft resolution benefits the agenda of the Israeli occupation, which aims to “kill and displace” Palestinians.
“President Joe Biden and his administration bear direct responsibility for derailing the resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza,” Hamas said in a statement. “The American position is considered a green light for the occupation to commit more massacres and kill our innocent people through bombing and starvation.”
The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the US veto defied the international community and gave Israel “an additional green light for the Israeli occupation to continue its aggression against the people of Gaza and to launch a bloody assault against Rafah”.
The Palestinian presidency also said that it holds the US administration responsible for “supporting and providing protection” to Israel’s “barbaric attacks” against children, women and the elderly in Gaza.
“This policy makes the United States a partner in the crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing and the war crimes Israeli forces are committing,” the office said.
Qatar’s UN Ambassador Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani said she regretted the UNSC’s failure to adopt the Algeria-drafted resolution and pledged to continue facilitating efforts to secure a truce in Gaza.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry expressed “regret” at the veto and stressed the “need now more than ever to reform the Security Council to carry out its responsibilities in maintaining peace and security with credibility and without double standards”.
#Statement | The Foreign Ministry expresses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s regret over the veto of the draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the #Gaza Strip and its surroundings, which Algeria submitted to the Security Council on behalf of the Arab countries. pic.twitter.com/6S0COWbERD
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) February 20, 2024

Norway’s mission to the UN said it “regrets” that the council was not able to adopt a resolution on an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.
“It is imperative to end the horror in Gaza,” it added.
Norway regrets that the #UNSC yet again was unable to adopt a resolution on an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in #Gaza.
It is imperative to end the horror in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/9Sh3ntIQty
— NorwayUN (@NorwayUN) February 20, 2024

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez blasted the US, saying its veto made it complicit in Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
“The US has just vetoed again the UN Security Council resolution that demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the forced displacement of the Palestinian population,” Bermudez said in a social media post. “They are accomplices of this genocide of Israel against Palestine.”
Agnes Callamard, the director of the human rights group, said that Washington had a chance to protect Palestinian civilians but chose “the opposite path” at the UNSC.
“And yet again… when the US could do the right thing: protect Palestinians against serious risks of genocide; respect international law and universality; prevent massive killings and sufferings – it chose the opposite path,” Callamard said.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
CAIR director Nihad Awad said Muslim Americans were “running out of words” to condemn Biden’s support for the “genocide” in Gaza.
“The latest US veto of a UN ceasefire resolution is shameful. President Biden should stop acting like Benjamin Netanyahu’s defense lawyer and start acting like the President of the United States,” Awad said in a statement.
“We call on the American people to continue expressing their opposition to the Biden administration’s support for the Israeli government’s war crimes by contacting the White House and their elected officials and calling on them to demand a ceasefire, access to humanitarian aid, and the pursuit of a just, lasting peace.”

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