Saudi Arabia says it regrets US veto on UN resolution for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that it regretted a US veto on a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip ahead of a looming ground offensive on Rafah.

The United States on Tuesday vetoed a draft resolution presented by Alegria and that called for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire that must be respected by all parties,” in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The US veto was likely to happen after Washington’s ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned that the draft resolution threatens negotiations to release the hostages held in Gaza.

The US instead floated an alternative that pushes the 15-member body to call for a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of hostages held by Hamas.

The veto was criticized by several countries including Saudi Arabia.

“There is a need now more than ever to reform the Security Council to carry out its responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security with credibility and without double standards,” the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.

Israel’s traditional ally, the US, had previously vetoed UNSC resolutions concerning the ongoing conflict that was triggered by a cross border attack by Hamas militants on Israel on October 7.

During the attack 1,200 people were killed and over 200 hostages were captured.

The attack prompted Israel to launch a war against Gaza, killing over 28,000 Palestinians.

Israel has been threatening of an offensive to storm Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than one million Palestinians have sought shelter, drawing criticism and international concern that such a move will worsen the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Strip.

“The Kingdom warns of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings,” the ministry said in the statement. It also said that Saudi Arabia warns against the escalation of military operations that will threaten peace and security.

“The escalation does not serve any efforts calling for a dialogue and a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue in accordance with the relevant international resolutions.”

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