Russia to veto US resolution on Gaza as it does not call for ceasefire

Moscow has put forward an alternative draft resolution, according to diplomats

Vasily Nebenzya, Russia's ambassador to the UN. AP
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Russia on Tuesday said it would not support a US-drafted Security Council resolution on the Israel-Gaza conflict because it does not call for a ceasefire.

The US last week vetoed a Brazil-drafted resolution that would otherwise have passed.

It called for “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid in to Gaza but the US vetoed it because there was no mention of Israel's right to defend itself.

Twelve members voted in favor while Britain and Russia abstained.

The US then proposed on Saturday its own text stating that Israel has the right to defend itself and “Iran must cease the export of all arms and related materiel to armed militias and terrorist groups threatening peace and security across the region, including Hamas”.

But it did not reference any ceasefire, humanitarian pause or safe routes, for ensuring the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Responding to the concerns of other Council members, the US amended its draft and included a call "for all measure necessary, such as humanitarian pauses."

It also removed direct references to Iran and Israel's right to self defense.

“The whole world is expecting from the Security Council a call for a swift and unconditional ceasefire,” Russia's UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told the Security Council.

“This is precisely what is not in the American draft. Therefore, we don't see any point in it, and we cannot support it.”

Moscow has put forward an alternative draft resolution that drew humanitarian language from the US, Brazilian and the first Russian drafts, according to diplomats.

The latest Russian text calls for an "immediate, durable and fully respected humanitarian ceasefire".

After its veto last week, Washington drafted a new resolution that “sets out practical steps” and “incorporates substantive feedback that we received from fellow Council members over recent days”, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“No member of this council, no nation in this entire body, could or would tolerate the slaughter of its people."

The US draft, seen by The National, also came under criticism from Washington’s regional ally Egypt.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the Council that Cairo was surprised by Washington’s new attempts to craft a resolution that “doesn't include any call for a ceasefire to prevent further deterioration of the situation, which might lead the region to a dangerous juncture".

Frustrations are high at the Council as it has repeatedly failed to act on the Gaza crisis.

Updated: October 25, 2023, 11:30 AM