UNSC adopts milder resolution urging Gaza aid acceleration
- Web Desk
- Dec 24, 2023
NEW YORK: After prolonged deliberations and persistent negotiations, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) eventually greenlit a notably diluted resolution on Friday. The resolution calls for an immediate intensification of aid deliveries to Gaza but falls short of the originally proposed “urgent suspension of hostilities” outlined in the UAE draft.
A majority of 13 out of the 15 council members threw their support behind the resolution, with no member state casting a dissenting vote.
The United States, spearheading the weeklong consensus talks, opted for abstention, citing the absence of condemnation for Hamas. Russia also abstained, dismissing the resolution as ‘ineffective’ and asserting that it allows Israel to continue its military operations against the Palestinians.
Despite the abstentions, the resolution successfully passed, as a negative vote from any of the five permanent UNSC members would have blocked it. This vote followed a US veto of a Russian amendment aimed at reinstating the call for a suspension of hostilities. The amendment had the support of ten members, with the US opposing it, and four abstaining.
The adopted resolution doesn’t diminish Israel’s control over aid deliveries to the 2.3 million people in Gaza, monitored through the Rafah crossing from Egypt and the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.
The softened stance on a cessation of hostilities has left Arab and Muslim states frustrated, aligning with the Russian viewpoint that the approval essentially permits Israel to persist in attacking targets in Gaza and the West Bank.
“By endorsing this, the council would essentially be granting the Israeli armed forces complete freedom of movement for further clearing of the Gaza Strip,” warned Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia before the vote. Russia proposed amending the draft to revert to the original text, calling for “an urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities,” but the US veto thwarted Moscow’s proposal.
Earlier this month, the 193-member UN General Assembly called for a humanitarian ceasefire, with 153 states supporting the move. This had been previously vetoed by the United States in the Security Council.