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The U.S. has again vetoed a U.N. resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza

The Security Council meets before voting on a resolution concerning a cease-fire in Gaza at United Nations headquarters on Tuesday. The resolution was vetoed by the U.S.
Seth Wenig
The Security Council meets before voting on a resolution concerning a cease-fire in Gaza at United Nations headquarters on Tuesday. The resolution was vetoed by the U.S.

Updated February 20, 2024 at 12:55 PM ET

The United States has vetoed another United Nations Security Council resolution on the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, rejecting calls for an immediate cease-fire.

The U.S. has proposed its own draft, which it says would support delicate diplomacy toward releasing hostages taken in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel.

The draft resolution that Algeria proposed would have demanded an immediate humanitarian cease-fire.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13 in favor and the United States against. The United Kingdom abstained.

The resolution came after more than four months of war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza and whose attack in Israel killed 1,200 people, according to Israel's government. Israel's military offensive since then has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to Gaza's Health Ministry.

Backed by many other countries, Arab nations have been demanding a cease-fire for months.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield argues that a cease-fire without requiring Hamas to release hostages would fail to bring about durable peace.

"Proceeding with a vote today was wishful and irresponsible," she said. "While we cannot support a resolution that would put sensitive negotiations in jeopardy, we look forward to engaging on a text that we believe will address so many of the concerns we all share."

Thomas-Greenfield says diplomats are working on a deal that would bring about a six-week pause in fighting and hopes to get its proposal approved in the Security Council.

"We're eager to continue working with the [Security] Council on this proposal, one that would see a temporary cease-fire as soon as practicable, based on the formula of all hostages being released," she said after the vote. The proposal "would get aid into the hands of those Palestinians who so desperately need it," she added.

She said the Biden administration has pressed Israel not to follow through with plans for a ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where 1.5 million civilians are taking refuge. Israeli forces "have not gone in to attack Rafah and we will keep engaging and urging and pushing in that direction to ensure that that does not happen," she said.

The U.S. has vetoed or abstained from voting on previous resolutions on Gaza, while Russia and China have vetoed a U.S. proposal.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michele Kelemen has been with NPR for two decades, starting as NPR's Moscow bureau chief and now covering the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.