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UN Security Council Heading for Vote to Demand Aid Access for Gaza via Land, Sea, Air Routes – News18

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Last Updated: December 18, 2023, 06:41 IST

A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the U.S., France, China, Britain or Russia. (Reuters File Photo)

A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the U.S., France, China, Britain or Russia. (Reuters File Photo)

The UNSC draft resolution aims to set up UN monitoring in Gaza of aid delivered via land, sea or aid by countries who are not parties to the conflict

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is set to vote on a proposal demanding that Israel and Hamas allow aid access to the Gaza Strip and set up UN monitoring of humanitarian assistance.

The UNSC draft resolution hinges on final talks between Israel’s ally and council veto power, the US, and the UAE, which has drafted the text, Reuters reported citing unnamed diplomats. “We have engaged constructively and transparently throughout the entire process in an effort to unite around a product that will pass,” a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the agency. “The UAE knows exactly what can pass and what cannot — it is up to them if they want to get this done.”

The United States wants to tone down language on a cessation of hostilities, diplomats said. The draft text calls for an urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, the report said. UN officials and aid agencies warn of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza with the majority of the coastal Palestinian enclave’s 2.3 million people driven from their homes during the two-month-long conflict. A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the U.S., France, China, Britain or Russia.

READ MOREIndia Backs UN General Assembly Draft Resolution Demanding Immediate Gaza Ceasefire

Earlier this month, Washington vetoed a resolution in the 15-member council that would have demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militants in Gaza. The 193-member U.N. General Assembly then demanded a ceasefire last week with 153 states voting in favor. The United States and Israel oppose a ceasefire because they believe it would only benefit Hamas. Washington instead supports pauses in fighting to protect civilians and allow the release of hostages taken by Hamas in a deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Israel has bombarded Gaza from the air, imposed a siege and launched a ground offensive in retaliation for the October 7 attack that Israel says killed 1,200 people and saw 240 people taken hostage. Around 19,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza health officials. After several failed attempts to act, the Security Council last month called for pauses in fighting to allow Gaza aid access. A seven-day pause – during which Hamas released some hostages, some Palestinians were freed from Israeli jails and there was an increase in aid to Gaza – ended on Dec. 1.

Some humanitarian aid and fuel deliveries have crossed into Gaza via the Rafah crossing from Egypt, subjected to monitoring by Israel. The draft resolution aims to set up UN monitoring in Gaza of aid delivered via land, sea or aid by countries who are not parties to the conflict. The U.N. would notify the Palestinian Authority and Israel of those aid deliveries.

(With agency inputs)

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