Fighting in the Gaza Strip Escalated Last Night - US Vetoes Ceasefire

The fierce offensive of Israeli forces against Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip continues. Meanwhile, Washington vetoed the UN Security Council's request for an immediate ceasefire.

Over the past day, fighting in the Gaza Strip has escalated, and the number of Palestinian casualties continues to rise. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared that nowhere in Gaza was safe for civilians, hours before the US vetoed a Security Council resolution backed by the vast majority of its members calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The vote put Washington in diplomatic isolation on the 15-member council.

Thirteen votes were cast in favor of the draft resolution tabled by the United Arab Emirates, while Britain abstained. US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood said:

"We do not support this resolution's call for an unsustainable ceasefire that will only sow the seeds for the next war."

The United States and Israel oppose the ceasefire, saying it would only benefit Hamas. Instead, Washington supports "pauses," such as a seven-day ceasefire in which Hamas released some hostages and the flow of humanitarian aid increased. The deal fell through on December 1.

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said the vote meant "millions of Palestinian lives hang in the balance", and Ezzat El Reshik, a member of Hamas' political bureau, condemned the US veto as "inhumane".

The White House said yesterday that Israel could do more to reduce civilian casualties and that the US shared international concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was imperative that Israel take steps to protect the civilian population of Gaza. In his words, there is "...

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