The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The move comes as Israel intensified its attacks on Gaza, targeting the entire length of the Palestinian enclave and causing hundreds of casualties in a renewed and expanded phase of the conflict.

The resolution, drafted by the United Arab Emirates, received 13 votes in favour, one abstention, and one vote against. The United States, a permanent UN Security Council member, cast the lone dissenting vote, effectively blocking the resolution, while the United Kingdom, a US ally, chose to abstain.

Speaking after the U.S. blocked the resolution, Palestinian representative to the United Nations Riyad Mansour called the move “beyond regrettable.” He emphasised the gravity of the situation, stating, “This is the moment of truth, a turning point in history.”

The Security Council has failed in its duty in addressing “a grave crisis,” he said. “Millions of Palestinian lives hang in the balance. Every single one of them is sacred, worth saving.”

Mansour described Israel’s actions as conducting a war “through atrocities.”

“Hundreds of people will be killed by this time tomorrow. Children will be killed, orphaned, wounded, disabled for life. Not by mistake, but by design, because the killers have no regard whatsoever for Palestinian life, from the cradle to the grave and beyond,” he added.

The potential failure to adopt the resolution would give Israel “a licence to continue with its massacre of Palestinians in Gaza,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told reporters in Washington before the Security Council vote.

The White House earlier refrained from setting a firm deadline for Israel to cease its military operations in Gaza.

The intensified attacks on Gaza contradict Israeli assurances to prioritise civilian protection, with the Palestinian death toll since 7 October approaching 18,000, the majority of whom are women and children. Gaza’s Health Ministry reported that over 350 people were killed in Israeli attacks on Thursday. It added that the death toll from Israel’s military operation had now reached 17,487, with the majority being women and children. Thousands more are missing and believed to be buried under rubble.

Israel also killed at least six Palestinians and wounded many in raids and military operations across the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces expanded their raids, targeting cities, villages, and refugee camps across the occupied West Bank. The raids, once conducted under the cover of darkness, have now extended into broad daylight, often involving convoys and bulldozers that signal potential demolitions. Refugee camps such as Jenin, Tulkarem, Nur Shams, and the recent incursion into the Far’a refugee camp have become focal points of Israeli military operations.