After veto in UN Security Council

Israeli regime praises fraudulent US-backed Gaza “ceasefire” resolution

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council failed to pass a resolution sponsored by the United States that was absurdly proclaimed by the US media as a “ceasefire” resolution.

In fact, the resolution would have given the UN’s imprimatur to the US-Israeli genocide in Gaza, specifying conditions for “ongoing and future operations” by the Israeli military.

United States Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks during a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Friday, March. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

The resolution linked any “ceasefire” with the achievement of Israel’s stated war aims, effectively restating the declaration by US President Joe Biden during the State of the Union address earlier this month that a ceasefire could be achieved by Hamas “laying down arms.”

Indeed, in motivating the resolution, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said its aim was to “put pressure on Hamas,” not Israel.

In explaining Algeria’s vote against the resolution, Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s representative to the UN, said the resolution “implies a license for continuing bloodshed.”

He noted, “The text presented today does not convey a clear message of peace. It tacitly allows for continuing civilian casualties and lacks clear safeguards to prevent further escalation.

“It is a laissez-passer to continuing killing of Palestinian civilians,” Bendjama explained. “The emphasis on measures to reduce civilian harm from ongoing and future operations implies a license for continuing bloodshed.”

Algeria was joined by China and Russia, which both vetoed the resolution.

The Israeli government, which has repeatedly denounced the United Nations for its officials’ criticism of the genocide, fully endorsed the United States’ resolution.

“The American resolution, should it have passed, would have marked a moment of morality for the UN,” Israeli UN envoy Gilad Erdan said, praising the US’s willingness to “condemn the Hamas monsters.”

He added, “Yet sadly, for purely political reasons, this resolution did not pass, and terrorists can continue benefiting from this Council whitewashing their crimes.”

Erdan then launched into a tirade of genocide denial, absurdly proclaiming that universally-recognized statistics about the civilian death toll are made up and that no one is starving in Gaza.

The Israeli delegate condemned the “libelous narrative of famine in Gaza,” proclaiming absurdly, “There is absolutely no limit that Israel places on humanitarian aid entering Gaza.”

He claimed the allegations by the UN of mass deaths in Gaza were a fraud, declaring that “Numbers [of civilian casualties] supplied by the terrorists are thrown around and quoted as if they are [the] Word of God. Yet, in essence, these numbers are merely the lies of Hamas that the UN is so quick to parrot.

“Israel has taken steps that no other military in any other conflict has ever taken, all in order to mitigate civilian casualties,” he said.

He concluded by reiterating Israel’s determination to assault the southern Gazan city of Rafah, where over 1 million Palestinian refugees are sheltering. “The fire will grow again and spread. This is what will happen without an operation in Rafah. Israel sees no alternative. The road to a permanent ceasefire passes through Rafah.”

In response to the veto of its resolution by Russia and China, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield used language essentially identical to that of Israel, claiming that those countries “refuse to condemn Hamas.”

“Russia and China refuse to condemn Hamas, from burning people alive to gunning down innocent civilians at a concert, to raping women and girls, to taking hundreds of people hostage.”

Thomas-Greenfield expressed her determination to veto any call for a genuine ceasefire, declaring, “So if that alternative resolution comes up for a vote and does not support the diplomacy happening on the ground, we may once again find this council deadlocked.”

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his latest visit to Israel. Following the meeting, Netanyahu doubled down on his declaration that Israel will assault Rafah.

“We have no way to defeat Hamas without going into Rafah and eliminating the rest of the battalions there,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “And I told him that I hope we will do it with the support of the US. But if we must, we will do it alone.”

The discussions on the next stage of the genocide between Netanyahu and Blinken took place amid ongoing famine and mass murder in Gaza. Earlier this week, Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, implied that Israel is deliberately starving the population.

“The extent of Israel’s continued restrictions on the entry of aid into Gaza, together with the manner in which it continues to conduct hostilities, may amount to the use of starvation as a method of war, which is a war crime,” he said.

A separate report published Tuesday by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) partnership, the official global body designating starvation, found that “famine is imminent,” with a “major acceleration of deaths and malnutrition.”

The IPC assessment notes that 1.1 million people are expected to face catastrophic levels of hunger and risk famine in Gaza, the highest number of people in that category ever recorded since the beginning of the current classification system.

Israel’s siege of Al-Shifa Hospital continued for a fifth day, with more than 160 people killed and 600 arrested, including medical staff. Earlier this week, the Euro-Med Monitor human rights organization reported that Israel has been carrying out mass summary executions at the hospital.

On Friday, Gaza’s Health Ministry said the official death toll from the genocide stands at 32,070; once the missing are added to that toll, the number increases to over 40,000.

The same day, Al Jazeera published video footage of one of the daily massacres that occur in Gaza, showing a group of four young unarmed men walking down a road being blown up by a series of drone strikes.

Al Jazeera reported that Israeli drones have been hovering over Rafah non-stop, leading to panic as the 1.2 million refugees crowded into the city expect an imminent attack.