Gaza fighting intensifies, US vetoes Security Council demand for ceasefire
The United States kept up pressure on Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians during a fierce offensive against Hamas militants across Gaza, even as Washington vetoed a U.N. Security Council demand for an immediate ceasefire.
Fighting escalated and the Palestinian death toll rose on Friday, with Israel pounding the enclave from north to south in an expanded phase of the two-month-old war against the Islamist group Hamas.
Decrying a "spiralling humanitarian nightmare", U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared that nowhere in Gaza was safe for civilians, hours before the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution backed by the vast majority of its members calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
The vote left Washington diplomatically isolated on the 15-member council. Thirteen members voted in favor of the draft resolution put forward by the United Arab Emirates, while Britain abstained.