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Updated Mar 22, 2024, 9:47am EDT
securityMiddle East
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Semafor Signals

Russia, China veto US-led Gaza ceasefire resolution at UN

Insights from Israel Hayom, The Times of Israel, Al Jazeera, and Al-Monitor

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., March 11, 2024. REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado
REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado
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The News

The United Nations Security Council on Friday failed to pass a U.S.-led resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, after it was vetoed by China and Russia.

The vote comes as U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv for talks with the Israeli premier. Washington has previously used its veto power on the council to block calls for an immediate truce.

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The U.S.‘s ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Russia and China did not vote for the resolution because they would rather see the U.S. fail.

“Once again Russia puts politics over progress,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Actual demands of resolution ‘ambiguous’

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Source:  
Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays said that the exact language of the U.S.-drafted resolution was relatively ambiguous. A copy of the text obtained by the network says: “The Security Council determines the imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, allow for the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance, and alleviate humanitarian suffering.” In the use of the word “imperative,” Bays said, the resolution is saying “it is important that there is a ceasefire. It is not really demanding one now.” He added: “It’s certainly the strongest language yet, but is it what the rest of the Security Council wants in terms of a demand for an immediate ceasefire? Or is it just a resolution where the Security Council would say an immediate ceasefire is something that’s very important?”

Motion comes as US pushes for hostage talks

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Sources:  
Israel Hayom, The Times of Israel

The Israeli envoy to the U.N. is “not entirely happy” with the resolution but “can live with it,” sources from the mission told Israel’s i24News. The U.S. has been ramping up pressure on Qatari and Egyptian mediators to speed up negotiations between Israel and Hamas, with Blinken expected to urge Israel not to launch a ground operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah during his talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday. Blinken has called for other nations to support the U.S. resolution, saying he believed “that would send a strong message, a strong signal.”

France preparing dueling resolution

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Source:  
Al-Monitor

France has also drafted a resolution, and the nation’s foreign ministry is working with Algerian, Jordanian, and Palestinian representatives to bring it forward, Al-Monitor reported. The resolution is not meant to rival Washington’s, a spokesperson for the French foreign ministry said, but added that “it is time that a resolution project which could actually be adopted be presented.” An Israeli diplomat that spoke to the outlet said the text of Paris’ resolution would likely “be difficult for Israel to swallow.”

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