Russia and China veto US resolution on ‘immediate’ Gaza ceasefire at UN

The United Nations Security Council failed to pass a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Friday after permanent members China and Russia vetoed a US-proposed measure.

The US-drafted resolution, which had undergone several versions before the vote, “determines the imperative” of an “immediate and sustained ceasefire,” but did not make it a legally binding and enforceable demand.

Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitry Polyansky said ahead of the vote that Moscow would not be satisfied “with anything that doesn’t call for an immediate ceasefire.”

China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, offered a similar explanation for his country’s veto, describing the final text as “ ambiguous.”

He added that it “does not call for an immediate ceasefire nor does it even provide an answer to the question of realising a ceasefire in the short term. This is a clear deviation from the consensus of the council members and fell far short of the expectations of the international community.”

The US has blocked three previous UN Security Council resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire, including one last month backed by Arab states for which it was the only country on the 15-member council to issue its veto.

A US State Department spokesperson told The Independent that the resolution “supports the diplomatic effort to secure a ceasefire in the context of a hostage release and so would put pressure on Hamas to accept the proposal on the table.”

The draft also condemned Hamas for the October 7 attacks and reiterated “the need to do more to surge humanitarian aid into Gaza,” the spokesperson said.

The UK’s representative to the Security Council says she is “deeply disappointed” that Russia and China did not back the US draft resolution.

Dame Barbara Woodward says the UK had voted for an “an immediate and sustained ceasefire”, to free Israeli hostages, and to “urge against a ground offensive into Rafah”.

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