The United States was the only member of the UN Security Council to vote against the resolution, but as a permanent member it holds a veto
The United States was the only member of the UN Security Council to vote against the resolution, but as a permanent member it holds a veto AFP News

The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Wednesday calling for a "humanitarian pause" in the raging Israel-Hamas conflict as the text did not recognize Israel's right to defend itself, the US ambassador said.

Twelve out of 15 Council members voted in favor of the resolution put forward by Brazil, which also condemned the "heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas," while Russia and the United Kingdom abstained.

The United States was the only vote against, but as one of the body's five permanent members its vote counts as a veto.

"The United States is disappointed this resolution made no mention of Israel's rights of self defense," US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said after the vote.

The move came as US President Joe Biden was on a solidarity visit in Tel Aviv to show strong US backing, but also to urge Israel to allow aid into the besieged Gaza Strip amid warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe in the besieged territory.

Israel's ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan thanked the United States for vetoing "a very bad resolution," and said "Washington continues to stand with us in times of need."

Addressing the Security Council, Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour warned that "killing more Palestinians will never make Israel safer."

The resolution said the Council "firmly condemns all violence and hostilities against civilians and all acts of terrorism."

It said the body "unequivocally rejects and condemns the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas... and the taking of hostages."

The text also "urges all parties to fully comply with their obligations under international law.

Human Rights Watch condemned the US veto, saying in a post on X it prevented the Security Council "from acting on Israel and Palestine at a time of unprecedented carnage."

The Foreign Ministry of Brazil, which this month holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, likewise said it regretted the blocking of the vote.

"Brazil considers it urgent for the international community to establish a ceasefire and resume the peace process," the ministry said in a statement.

The vote comes after the Security Council on Monday rejected a Russian resolution condemning spiraling violence in the Middle East.

That resolution did not single out Hamas for its surprise attack on Israel on October 7, and it was rejected by permanent members the United States, the United Kingdom and France, as well as Japan.

The assault on Israel left at least 1,400 people dead and saw Hamas militants take 199 people hostage.

Israel has retaliated with air strikes that have now claimed the lives of 3,478 people, according to health officials.