The United States has opposed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the ongoing bombardment by Israel in Gaza, where more than 17,000 Palestinians have lost lives.
The resolution, presented by the United Arab Emirates, received support from thirteen Security Council members, while the United Kingdom chose to abstain. The US delegation argued against an immediate ceasefire, contending that such a move would not contribute to a lasting peace, Al Jazeera reported.
Deputy US Ambassador Robert Wood expressed concerns that an instant ceasefire might only serve to sow the seeds for future conflicts, citing what the US perceives as Hamas’s lack of commitment to a durable peace and a two-state solution.
Both the United States and Israel are opposed to a ceasefire, asserting that it would primarily benefit Hamas. A previous seven-day pause, during which Hamas released some hostages and witnessed an uptick in humanitarian aid to Gaza, concluded on December 1.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took the unusual step of invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter, formally warning the Security Council about the global threat posed by the protracted two-month-long conflict, the Al Jazeera report said.
The US favors its own diplomatic initiatives over Security Council action to address the situation. The conflict has prompted several unsuccessful attempts to secure pauses in fighting, with the Security Council previously calling for such halts to facilitate aid access to Gaza, described by Guterres on Friday as a “spiraling humanitarian nightmare.”
The recent vote followed Guterres’s deployment of Article 99, a rarely-used provision of the UN Charter allowing him to bring attention to matters deemed to threaten international peace and security.
The US and Israel remain firm in their opposition to an immediate ceasefire, advocating instead for a diplomatic resolution that addresses the underlying issues of the conflict.