THE United States has vetoed a UN ceasefire resolution as the Gaza Ministry of Health states that more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its assault on Gaza on October 7. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the offensive on Gaza until “total victory” against Hamas, causing increasingly international alarm. 

On Tuesday, the United States vetoed a UN resolution brought by Arab nations demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. 

The 22 Arab states said it hoped to show broad global support for ending the war, despite the US's move to vote it down. 

The National:

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1 with the United Kingdom abstaining. 

On Monday, in a surprise move ahead of the vote, the US circulated a rival UN Security Council resolution that would support a temporary ceasefire in Gaza linked to the release of all hostages and call for the lifting of all restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Both of these actions “would help to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities”, the draft resolution obtained by The Associated Press said. 

US deputy ambassador Robert Wood told several reporters on Monday that the Arab-backed resolution is not “an effective mechanism for trying to do the three things that we want to see happen — which is get hostages out, more aid in, and a lengthy pause to this conflict”.

With the US draft, “what we’re looking at is another possible option, and we’ll be discussing this with friends going forward,” Wood said.

READ MORE: Labour call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza in major climbdown

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have sought shelter in Rafah - Gaza's southernmost town  on the Egyptian border - after being displaced by Israeli attacks. 

The Gazan health ministry said the death toll had risen to 29,092 since the start of the war, around two-thirds of them women and children.

More than 69,000 Palestinians have been wounded, overwhelming the territory’s hospitals, less than half of which are even partially functioning.

The ministry, which is part of the Hamas-run government, does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its count but maintains detailed records of casualties.

Its figures from previous wars in Gaza have largely matched those of UN agencies, independent experts and Israel’s own tallies.

Israel says it has killed more than 10,000 Palestinian militants but has provided no evidence for its count.