The United States on Tuesday for the third time vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, Reuters reported.

The draft resolution, backed by Arab nations and circulated by Algeria, was supported by 13 member nations of the council but opposed by the United States. The United Kingdom abstained from the vote. China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and France have veto powers in the council.

The US instead pushed for a demand for a temporary ceasefire based on the release of Israeli hostages held by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The war in the West Asian region started after Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7 and killed 1,200 persons while taking more than 200 persons hostage.

On Tuesday, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said that 29,092 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the conflict and more than 69,000 have been wounded, reported AP. The relentless attacks by the Israeli forces have also left most of the hospitals in Gaza completely or partially destroyed.

The UN Security Council had been deliberating the resolution moved by Algeria for three weeks.

On Saturday, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, had said that Washington will veto the resolution as it has been working on a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, reported Reuters.

“Demanding an immediate, unconditional ceasefire without an agreement requiring Hamas to release the hostages will not bring about a durable peace,” she said on Tuesday, reported Reuters. “Instead, it could extend the fighting between Hamas and Israel.”

Tuesday’s veto sends the message to Israel that it can continue to “get away with murder”, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations said, according to Reuters.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the word “ceasefire” was being mentioned “as if it is a silver bullet, a magical solution to all of the region’s problems”, Reuters reported.

“A ceasefire achieves one thing and one thing only – the survival of Hamas,” Erdan told the Security Council. “A ceasefire is a death sentence for many more Israelis and Gazans.”

Saudi Arabia expressed regret over the United States’ veto saying that “there is a need now more than ever to reform the Security Council to carry out its responsibilities in maintaining peace and security with credibility and without double standards”.

France also said that it was regretful that the draft resolution was not adopted given the disastrous situation on the ground.

On Monday, the United States proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Israel’s war on Gaza and opposing a ground offensive in the southern city of Rafah. The resolution is the first time that the US has initiated or backed a call for a ceasefire in the war at the United Nations Security Council.