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United States vetoes Arab-backed resolution demanding immediate cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war

The conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, with significant developments in the recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session. The vote, held on February 20, saw a resolution presented by Arab nations demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. However, the United States exercised its veto power, blocking the resolution. The voting result stood at 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining, underscoring widespread international support for ending the prolonged conflict.

This marked the third veto by the United States of a Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. In response to the Arab-backed resolution, the US introduced its own draft, proposing a temporary cease-fire linked to the release of all hostages and the removal of restrictions on humanitarian aid delivery. The US emphasized the importance of addressing these key issues to achieve a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

The situation remains urgent, with Arab nations and numerous UN member states pressing for immediate action to halt the violence. The proposed resolutions emphasize the need for a cease-fire, the release of hostages, unhindered humanitarian access, and compliance with international law to protect civilians. Despite diplomatic efforts, significant challenges persist in finding a resolution to the conflict.

The US draft resolution explicitly addresses concerns over Israel's planned ground offensive in Rafah and warns against further displacement of civilians, stressing the potential implications for regional peace and security. US officials have been engaged in ongoing negotiations to secure a deal that would facilitate the release of hostages and allow for crucial humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.

As discussions unfold in the Security Council, the next steps remain uncertain. The Arab Group may consider taking their resolution to the UN General Assembly, where approval is likely but lacks legal binding authority. Meanwhile, the Security Council is expected to deliberate on the US draft resolution, which condemns Hamas' actions and addresses concerns over potential demographic or territorial changes in Gaza.

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