Russia and China veto U.S.-backed U.N. resolution for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza


A US resolution urging a ceasefire in Gaza linked to a hostage deal has been vetoed by Russia and China in the UN security council, extending a five-month impasse in the international body over the Israel-Hamas war which has killed more than 32,000 people.

Eleven council members voted for the resolution on Friday morning; Russia, China and Algeria voted against it and Guyana abstained. As permanent security council members the Russian and Chinese votes counted as vetoes.

It was unclear on Friday morning whether there would be a further vote on an alternative resolution demanding an immediate and unconditional ceasefire drafted by other council members. The US has warned it would veto such a resolution, suggesting the deadlock in the body, tasked with safeguarding international peace and security, would continue.

At the same time, in Israel, the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, shrugged off US objections and insisted Israeli forces would press ahead with a new offensive against the southernmost Gaza city of Rafah, which has been the last refuge for more than a million displaced Palestinians. Netanyahu said Israel “will do it alone” if necessary.

Before the vote, the Russian envoy to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, pointed out that the US had used its veto four times on Gaza (against three ceasefire resolutions and one Russian amendment) since the war started on 7 October, and noted that the US resolution did not directly demand a ceasefire but rather “determines the imperative” of a ceasefire.

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