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With 700K on Verge of Starving to Death in Gaza, US Vetoes Ceasefire Yet Again

Gaza officials have warned that 700,000 Palestinians in the north are at risk of death by Israel’s starvation.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield casts a veto vote during a UN Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war, at UN Headquarters in New York City on February 20, 2024.

For the third time since October 7, the U.S. has vetoed a resolution in the UN calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The vote comes as government officials in Gaza warn that a third of the population of Gaza is currently at risk of death by starvation.

The UN Security Council resolution, drafted by Algeria, called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages held in Gaza. The U.S. cast the sole vote against the resolution, with 13 members of the council voting for the resolution and one country, the U.K., abstaining.

The U.S. had also vetoed resolutions for humanitarian pauses in October and a ceasefire and hostage release in December. U.S. ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called the most recent resolution “wishful and irresponsible,” arguing that a ceasefire would interrupt diplomatic efforts to pause the fighting, even though a ceasefire would achieve that very goal.

Other countries’ ambassadors decried the U.S. veto, saying that it will lead to more death and violence against Palestinians in Gaza — where the official death toll nears 30,000, with thousands more missing — and West Bank, and risk escalating conflict across the Middle East.

“The veto of this draft resolution is not only regrettable … but also absolutely reckless and dangerous, again shielding Israel even after it commits the most shocking crimes, while exposing millions of innocent Palestinian people to more untold horrors,” said Palestine ambassador Riyad H. Mansour in remarks in front of the council.

The U.S. has a long record of using its veto power to shield Israel from accountability. Since Israel was established in 1948 through an ethnic cleansing campaign, which Palestinians call the Nakba, the U.S. has rejected 34 out of 36 UN resolutions related to Palestine, according to an Al Jazeera analysis.

At the same time, the U.S. is continuing to send weapons to aid Israel’s destruction of Gaza and refusing to send funding to Gaza’s primary humanitarian aid group, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as the entire population of Gaza, including over a million children, is facing starvation and disease.

Indeed, the Government Media Office in Gaza warned on Tuesday that over 700,000 Palestinians in northern Gaza are on the verge of dying from starvation, due to Israel’s famine campaign that experts say is unprecedented in modern times.

Previous reports from international food experts have found that famine is spreading across the territory, with the vast majority of the world’s population currently experiencing famine currently located in Gaza. Israel is intensifying the crisis by blocking humanitarian aid shipments into Gaza even more harshly than in previous months, while the World Food Programme is being forced to pause aid deliveries in the north due to the dangerous conditions. Humanitarian groups have already had to reduce their operations due to Israel’s attacks which have killed many aid workers.

The hunger emergency has led to horrific conditions, with a large portion of young children facing life-threatening malnutrition and Palestinians forced to eat grass, weeds and leaves or find animal fodder to grind in attempts to survive.

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