Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, has slammed the Biden administration after the US rejected a resolution in the United Nations Security Council on Friday calling for a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Hamas launched the bloodiest Palestinian militant strike on Israel in history on October 7. Following that, Israel began its most powerful attacks on Gaza. According to the Associated Press, 1,200 Israelis were murdered in the Hamas attack, while nearly 17,000 Palestinians were killed, according to officials from Gaza’s health ministry. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his country to be “at war” and cut off food, fuel, energy, and medicine supplies to Gaza.
On Friday, the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution asking for a ceasefire in Gaza and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. During its surprise attack, Hamas killed approximately 240 people. During a week-long ceasefire last month, about 100 of them were exchanged for Palestinian inmates in Israel.
Thirteen of the 15 countries on the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, the United States voted against it, and the United Kingdom abstained.
Cortez responded to the news on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday, writing, “Shameful. The Biden Administration can no longer reconcile their purported compassion for Palestinians and human rights while also vetoing the UN’s request for a cease-fire and ignoring the entire US Congress to support the indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza.”
Cortez and the White House were contacted by Newsweek via email for comment.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democrat from Vermont, also condemned the United States for vetoing the measure.
“At a time when Palestinians in Gaza are facing horrific conditions, the U.S. should not be vetoing a UN resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire and the release of all hostages,” Sanders wrote in an article on Sunday. “The Gaza children require food, water, and medical supplies.” We must do everything possible to make that happen as soon as possible.”
Protests have erupted around the world, with calls for a ceasefire in Gaza as Palestinian treatment deteriorates. A group of progressive members of Congress, including Cortez, have also spoken out in support of a cease-fire and have criticized President Joe Biden for his administration’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
While the Biden administration acknowledges that Israel has not done enough to protect civilians in Gaza, it has refused to call for a ceasefire, claiming that doing so would allow Hamas to strike Israel again.
“It is imperative—and it continues to be imperative—that Israel prioritize civilian protection,” State Department Secretary Antony Blinken told reporters on Thursday. “And there does remain a gap between exactly what I said when I was there, the intent to protect civilians, and the actual results that we’re seeing on the ground.”
Earlier this week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent a warning to the Security Council about the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
“There is a high risk of the total collapse of the humanitarian support system in Gaza, which would have devastating consequences,” he added.
Meanwhile, Robert A. Wood, who represented the United States during Friday’s veto, described the resolution as “not only unrealistic but dangerous; it will simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on 7 October,” according to a post on the United Nations website on Friday.
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