UN Security Council
UN Security CouncilReuters

The United Nations (UN) Security Council attempted a vote on Friday night to adopt a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

At least 97 countries supported the proposal, advanced by the United Arab Emirates, along with a call for the immediate release of the hostages and for the sides to respect their obligations under international law.

Of 15 members of the Security Council, 13, including France and Switzerland, supported the proposal. Britain abstained, and the United States of America voted against. The US' vote is considered a veto, and the proposal was rejected.

Israel's UN ambassador Gilad Erdan commented: "I thank the United States and President Biden for standing firmly by our side, today and showing their leadership and values. On this Hanukkah holiday, a little of the light dispelled a lot of the darkness."

"It is shocking that while Hamas is firing rockets at Israel from population centers in southern Gaza, the UN is busy debating a distorted resolution that will enable Hamas’ terrorists to stay in power in Gaza and does not condemn Hamas or call for the release of the hostages. A ceasefire will be possible only with the return of all the hostages and the destruction of Hamas."

The United States of America’s ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, strongly criticized the proposal: "The United States engaged in good faith on this text. We proposed language with an eye toward a constructive resolution that would have reinforced the life-saving diplomacy we have undertaken since October 7; increased opportunities for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza; encouraged the release of hostages and the resumption of humanitarian pauses; and laid a foundation for a durable peace. Unfortunately, nearly all of our recommendations were ignored."

"We still cannot comprehend why the resolution’s authors declined to include language condemning Hamas’ horrific terrorist attack on Israel on October 7. An attack that killed over 1,200 people. Women, children, the elderly. People from a range of nationalities. Burned alive. Gunned down. Subject to obscene sexual violence.

"We are very disappointed that for the victims of these heinous acts, the resolution’s authors offered not their condolences, nor condemnation of their murderers. It’s unfathomable. Nor is there condemnation of the sexual violence unleashed by Hamas on October 7.

"Perhaps most unrealistically, this resolution retains a call for an unconditional ceasefire. I explained in my remarks this morning why this is not only unrealistic but dangerous: it would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7. ... That’s not tenable. It’s not realistic. And it’s a recipe for disaster – for Israel, for the Palestinians, and for the entire region."

The UAE, which put forward the proposal, stated that they are “deeply disappointed by the results of the vote and the inability of the Council to demand a humanitarian ceasefire. The Council has become isolated. What message are we sending to the Palestinians if we cannot unite against bombings?”

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas criticized the United States of America for imposing its veto. He claimed that the American policy is to be complicit in genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes committed by the IDF against "Palestinians." He added that the decision would give another green light to the "Israeli occupation" to continue its violence against the people in the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Netanyahu commented on the resolution:

"I greatly appreciate the correct stance that the US has taken in the UN Security Council. The other countries need to understand that, on the one hand, it is impossible to support the elimination of Hamas while, on the other hand, calling for a halt to the war, which will prevent the elimination of Hamas. Therefore, Israel will continue our just war to eliminate Hamas and achieve the other goals of the war that we have set."