US vows to block new Security Council vote on ceasefire in Gaza

AFP , Sunday 18 Feb 2024

The UN Security Council could hold a vote next week, sought by Algeria, on a resolution seeking an "immediate" ceasefire in Gaza, diplomatic sources told AFP Saturday, although Washington again appeared set to block it.

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to a hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Feb.2024. AP


Algeria launched discussions on a new draft after the International Court of Justice ruled in late January that Israel must do all it can to prevent genocidal acts in its war on Gaza.

The latest version of the text, seen by AFP Saturday, "demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire that must be respected by all parties."

It also "rejects forced displacement of the Palestinian civilian population," and it "demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages."

Algeria has requested a UN Security Council vote on Tuesday, but Washington signaled it is likely to veto the measure.

US President Joe Biden is working with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of Egypt and Qatar on a captives deal that would bring about six weeks of a "prolonged pause in fighting," US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement on Algeria's proposed draft.

"The resolution put forward in the Security Council, in contrast, would not achieve these outcomes, and indeed, may run counter to them," Thomas-Greenfield said.

"The United States does not support action on this draft resolution," she added. "Should it come up for a vote as drafted, it will not be adopted."

"We believe that it is high time now for the Security Council to decide on a humanitarian ceasefire resolution," Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said recently, adding there is "massive support" for the text's elements among council members.

In October and December, despite international pressure over Gaza's growing humanitarian crisis, Washington vetoed texts calling for a ceasefire.

The Security Council has adopted just two resolutions on Gaza since October 7, including one calling for large-scale delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory.

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