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UN Security Council Gaza Vote Postponed Again

UN Security Council Gaza Vote Postponed Again

The debate at UN’s Manhattan headquarters came against a backdrop of deteriorating conditions in Gaza.

United Nations:

A UN Security Council vote on a much-delayed resolution calling for a pause to the Israel-Hamas war was postponed again Wednesday as members wrangled over wording while the death count in Gaza continued climbing.

The debate at the UN’s Manhattan headquarters came against a backdrop of deteriorating conditions in Gaza, with a senior UN official saying Israel’s steps to allow in aid were “far short” of mounting need.

“The Security Council has agreed to continue negotiations today to allow for additional time for diplomacy. And the presidency will reschedule the adoption for tomorrow (Thursday) morning,” said Ecuador’s Jose Javier De La Gasca Lopez-Dominguez, who holds the council’s rotating presidency.

Members of the council have been grappling for days to find common ground on the resolution, a vote on which was pushed back several times throughout Tuesday, after being postponed Monday.

Israel, backed by its ally the United States, a veto-wielding permanent Security Council member, has opposed the use of the term “ceasefire.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday there would be no ceasefire in Gaza until the “elimination” of Hamas.

But Russia and the Arab League stepped up diplomatic pressure on Israel to bring fighting to a close, using the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in Morocco to call for a ceasefire.

Richard Gowan, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, said ahead of the latest postponement that “everyone is basically stuck waiting to see what the US will decide to do.”

“It looks like even US diplomats do not know how this saga will end,” he added.

This week’s back and forth comes after an impasse earlier this month when the United States, despite unprecedented pressure from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, blocked the adoption of a Security Council resolution on the war.

That resolution had called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, where Israel continues its deadly strikes in retaliation for Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack.

– ‘Human catastrophe’ –

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted the same nonbinding resolution by 153 votes to 10, with 23 abstentions, out of 193 member states.

Bolstered by that overwhelming support, Arab countries announced the new attempt at the Security Council.

A draft text prepared by the UAE, obtained by AFP on Sunday, called for “an urgent and lasting cessation of hostilities to allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.”

The last version seen by AFP was, however, a modified text that seemingly sought to salvage a compromise.

It was less direct, calling for “the urgent suspension of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and for urgent steps towards a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”

United Nations official Tor Wennesland said Tuesday that Israel’s “limited” steps to allow aid into Gaza “are positive, but fall far short of what is needed to address the human catastrophe on the ground.”

After the attack on October 7, which Israeli authorities say left around 1,140 people dead, most of them civilians, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas.

Gaza’s Hamas government said the death count in the Palestinian territory reached 20,000.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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