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The United Nations Security Council has given the green light to a revised plan aimed at escalating humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. This move comes after a week of negotiations and delays in votes, all to avoid a potential veto by the United States.
In the wake of a mounting death toll and a deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza due to an 11-week conflict between Israel and Hamas, the United States opted to abstain, enabling the 15-member council to adopt a resolution drafted by the United Arab Emirates. All remaining council members voted in favor, except for Russia, which also abstained.
Efforts to sway Washington in favor of the resolution led to alterations in the text, ensuring that Israel’s control over aid deliveries to Gaza, catering to 2.3 million people, remained intact. Israel oversees the limited aid transported through the Rafah crossing from Egypt and the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.
However, the modification in language regarding a cessation of hostilities raised concerns among council members, including Russia and Arab and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation states. Some diplomats view this alteration as potentially authorizing Israel to take further action against Hamas in response to an earlier deadly attack on October 7.
The adopted resolution emphasizes the immediate necessity for safe, unimpeded, and expanded humanitarian access while striving to create conditions conducive to a sustained cessation of hostilities. Notably, the initial draft had stressed an “urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities” to facilitate aid access.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia expressed apprehension before the vote, cautioning that the approved resolution could grant Israeli armed forces considerable leeway in the Gaza Strip.
Russia proposed amending the draft to revert to the original text calling for an “urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities,” but the United States vetoed this amendment. The vote resulted in 10 in favor, with four abstentions.
Earlier this month, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly had urged a humanitarian ceasefire, garnering support from 153 states. However, this move had been vetoed by the United States in the Security Council.
Both the United States and Israel oppose a ceasefire, asserting it would primarily benefit Hamas. Instead, Washington advocates for periodic pauses in fighting to safeguard civilians and secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.
Article generated from corporate media reports by Discern Reporter.