On Monday, the United Nations Security Council is set to vote on a fresh resolution urging an “urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities” in Gaza, reflecting a growing impatience from Washington toward its key ally, Israel.
This decision follows the recent blocking by the United States of a previous Security Council resolution that sought a “humanitarian ceasefire” in the heavily affected Palestinian territory. The ongoing conflict involves Israel’s deadly responses to Hamas’s unprecedented attack on October 7.
In contrast to the Security Council, the General Assembly, comprising 193 member states, expressed overwhelming support for a ceasefire, with 153 votes in favor.
This surpasses the typical backing for resolutions condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which usually garners around 140 votes.
Arab countries, buoyed by broad international support following the General Assembly vote last Tuesday, have introduced the upcoming Security Council resolution. However, the fate of this latest text remains uncertain.
The new draft, formulated by the United Arab Emirates and revealed by AFP, advocates for an “urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities” to facilitate safe and unrestricted humanitarian access in the Gaza Strip.
It also reiterates backing for a two-state solution in the region and underscores the importance of unifying the Gaza Strip with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.
Critics, including Israel and the United States, disapprove of the draft for not explicitly naming Hamas.
Nevertheless, it does call for the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages” and condemns “all indiscriminate attacks against civilians.”
The Security Council has faced international criticism for passing only one resolution on Gaza since the conflict began. This resolution called for “humanitarian pauses,” while five others, including two with American vetoes, were rejected.
Negotiations on the new resolution continued on Sunday to avoid a potential impasse. Days earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden cautioned that Israel risked losing international support due to its “indiscriminate” bombing of Gaza.
Advocates, such as Louis Charbonneau, the UN director at Human Rights Watch, urged the United States to act at the Security Council and refrain from using vetoes to block resolutions aimed at preventing mass atrocities.
While Security Council resolutions are technically binding, they are frequently disregarded by the involved countries.
According to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, approximately 18,800 people, primarily civilians and children, have lost their lives since Israel’s bombardment commenced in retaliation for Hamas’s October 7 attack. Israel claims the attack resulted in 1,139 deaths, mostly civilians, and the kidnapping of around 250 people.