The United States on Friday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have urged an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, despite Secretary General Antonio Guterres having called on the panel for action on the issue.

The United States, a permanent member which backs Israel in the conflict against the Hamas militant group, expressed its opposition to the move during the day's debate.

"We do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire," U.S. representative Robert Wood told the session. "This would only plant the seeds for the next war because Hamas has no desire to see a durable peace, to see a two-state solution."

The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza in New York on Dec. 8, 2023. (Kyodo)

Thirteen of the 15 members of the council backed the resolution, while Britain abstained.

In the draft resolution, the key security panel of the world body demanded "an immediate humanitarian ceasefire" and "the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages."

The vote on the resolution submitted by the United Arab Emirates took place after Guterres called on the panel for action toward bringing about a ceasefire.

He made the plea in a rare letter to the Security Council based on Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, which allows the secretary general to bring to the panel's attention "any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."

On Nov. 15, the council endorsed its first resolution since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants, calling for "humanitarian pauses" of fighting in the war-torn Gaza area.

Washington vetoed an earlier Security Council resolution on Oct. 18 that would have called for a pause of the conflict in Gaza.


Related coverage:

Japan, Israel leaders agree to closely communicate on Gaza situation