The United States has been accused of complicity in war crimes after it vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
The US vetoed the resolution on Friday, against 13 other votes in favour, while the UK abstained. At the same time, the Biden administration sought congressional approval for the sale of artillery shells for Israeli tanks to be used in the Gaza offensive.
The renewed push for a truce came after UN chief António Guterres used Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time, which allows him to refer issues that threaten international peace and security to the Security Council.
However, for a resolution to be adopted, at least nine of the 15 members of the UN Security Council must vote in favour, and none of the five permanent members (the US, Russia, China, France and the UK) may veto the resolution.
Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency in Gaza (UNRWA), described the situation as the ‘darkest hour’ in the organisation’s history, underlining its precarious operational status.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed concern over images of half-naked Palestinian men being paraded by the Israeli military in Gaza. It raised questions about possible violations. The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the immediate release of one of the men in the video, journalist Dia Al-Qahlout.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFC) reported a grim statistic: more journalists have been killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict than in any other conflict in more than 30 years. The death toll among media workers so far this year stands at 94, with nearly 400 others detained.
At the beginning of October, some 1,000 journalists were working in Gaza – 68 of them are now dead, according to IFJ estimates.