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US veto of Gaza ceasefire resolution is ‘hypocrisy’ – China

Washington condones the fighting while claiming to care about Palestinians, Beijing’s envoy has said

The US decision to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for a truce between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas is hypocritical, Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the organization, has said.

On Friday, the US was the only country to vote against another resolution sponsored by the United Arab Emirates and endorsed by more than 90 other nations, which called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and the “immediate and unconditional release of hostages” captured by Hamas; 13 UN Security Council members supported the document, with the UK abstaining.

Explaining the veto, Robert Wood, Washington’s deputy UN ambassador, called the document “divorced from reality.” He added that contrary to the US’ advice, it failed to condemn the Hamas “terrorist attack” of October 7, saying that an unconditional ceasefire would allow the group to simply repeat the assault at a later date.

He also claimed that the document failed to “encourage a resumption of humanitarian pauses,” stressing that “every innocent Palestinian life lost is a tragedy.”

Commenting on the vote, Zhang expressed “great disappointment and regret” that the US stonewalled the resolution, arguing that the justification for the move was “feeble.” He noted that “condoning the continuation of fighting while claiming to care about the lives and safety of the people in Gaza and the humanitarian needs there is self-contradictory.”

Condoning the continuation of fighting while making every mention of the protection of women and girls and human rights is extremely hypocritical.

Since the start of the conflict, the US has blocked several UN resolutions sponsored by various countries calling for a ceasefire. In mid-November, the UN Security Council adopted a document calling for “humanitarian pauses” in hostilities. It was supported by 12 votes, with Russia, the US, and UK abstaining.

READ MORE: Gaza aid operation ‘not sustainable’ – UN

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, and the ensuing fighting has left more than 1,200 Israelis and 17,000 Palestinians dead. In late November, the belligerents reached a temporary Qatari-mediated ceasefire, with Hamas agreeing to release dozens of Israeli hostages in exchange for West Jerusalem freeing many Palestinians from prisons. Last week, however, the fragile agreement collapsed, with both sides accusing each another of violating the truce.

December 09, 2023 at 04:00PM

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