United Nations: China and Russia vetoed on Friday a US-spon­sored resolution in the UN Security Council, which linked the immediate ceasefire in Gaza to the release of all prisoners held by Hamas.

Algeria, the sole Arab member of the UNSC, also voted against the proposal, citing concerns that it could perpetuate bloodshed.

The veto blocked the resolution des­pite 11 members voting in its fav­our, and the council is now expected to hold another emergency session to discuss a new draft acceptable to both Russia and China.

China’s Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun stressed that the UNSC’s most urgent action should be to call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

Before the vote, Russian Ambass­ador Vassily Nebenzia criticised the US for repeatedly promising but not delivering an agreement to end the fighting.

He added that the US was doing nothing to rein in Israel, mocking Washington for speaking of a ceasefire after “Gaza has been virtually wiped off the face of the Earth”, AFP reported.

“We have observed a typical hypocritical spectacle.”
The resolution will “ensure the impunity of Israel, whose crimes are not even assessed in the draft”.

Several states have expressed support for a proposal by the group of 10 non-permanent UNSC members, which calls for an immediate ceasefire.

The Russian and Chinese ambassadors backed the draft resolution circulated by the ten non-permanent UNSC members.

However, the US ambassador cautioned his country would veto that text as it wasn’t in line with negotiations in Doha, which tied any ceasefire deal to the release of prisoners.

Speaking in Brussels after the vote, French President Emmanuel Macron announced his country would collaborate with Jordan and the UAE to garner support from Russia and China for a ceasefire resolution.