A UN resolution to call for a ceasefire in Gaza was blocked by the United States through a veto on Friday while Israeli forces continue offensive in Gaza to destroy Hamas after its deadly attack on Israel on October 7.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invoked the rarely-used Article 99 of the UN Charter to convene an emergency Security Council meeting calling for an immediate ceasefire.
He urged the release of hostages, but said “the brutality perpetrated by Hamas can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”.
But the US, which supplies billions of dollars in military assistance to Israel, vetoed the resolution.
America’s deputy representative at the UN, Robert Wood, said it was “divorced from reality” and “would have not moved the needle forward on the ground”.
The continuing fight has killed 17,487 people in the Palestinian territory, mostly women and children, according to the latest count from the Hamas-run health ministry.
Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas over its unprecedented attack on October 7 when militants kill around 1,200 people in Israel and took hostages.