UNITED NATIONS – The United States on Tuesday vetoed an Arab-backed resolution demanding an immediate end to military operations in the northern Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of Israeli forces.
The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 11 in favor and one against, with Britain, Germany and Romania abstaining.
U.S. Ambassador John Danforth cast the U.S. veto after British and German efforts to find compromise language failed.
“Once again, the resolution is lopsided and unbalanced,” Danforth told the council just before voting “no.”
“It is dangerously disingenuous because of its many material omissions. Because of this lack of balance, because of these omissions the resolution lacks credibility and deserves a `no’ vote,” he said.
After the vote, Algeria’s U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Baali, the only Arab member of the council, thanked the resolution’s supporters and noted that the measure got more than the minimum nine “yes” votes needed for adoption.
“It is a sad day for the Palestinians and it is a sad day for justice,” Baali said.
The resolution would have condemned “the broad military incursion and attacks by the Israeli occupying forces in the area of northern Gaza Strip, including in and around the Jabaliya refugee camp, resulting in extensive human casualties and destruction and exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation.”
Israel launched the operation six days ago after a Palestinian rocket killed two children in the southern Israeli town of Sderot. The Gaza thrust has left 68 Palestinians dead.