NEW YORK: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday passed a toned-down bid to boost humanitarian help to Gaza and called for urgent measures “to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities” following a week of vote delays and intense talks to avoid a veto by Washington.
Amid international outrage over increasing Gaza death toll in last 11 weeks of war between Hamas and Israel and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the United States abstained to permit the 15-member council to adopt a resolution drafted by the UAE. The remaining UNSC members voted for the resolution on Gaza except for Russia which also abstained.
After high-level talks to win over the US, the resolution no longer reduces Israel’s control over all help deliveries to around 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip. However, a weakening of language on a cessation of hostilities frustrated many UNSC members — including veto power Moscow—and regional countries, some of which, diplomats said, view it as approval for Israel to further act against people of Palestine.
UNSC Acts to Boost Gaza Aid After US Abstains
The approved resolution “calls for immediate measures to immediately permit safe, and expanded humanitarian access and to develop the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities in the region. The initial draft of the resolution had called for “an immediate and sustainable cessation of hostilities to permit aid access.
Earlier, the US has used its veto twice to spoil resolutions opposed by Israel since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip. AFP reported that the latest delay was at the request of Washington, a diplomatic source added. Similarly, the UNGA demanded a humanitarian truce, with 153 nations voting in favor of the move that had been vetoed by Washington in the UNSC days earlier.
Gaza health ministry said over 410 people have been killed in Israeli brutal bombardment over 48 hours, including 16 in an airstrike Friday on Gaza, Jabalia. Four members of same family, including a girl, killed in another attack on a civilian vehicle in Rafah in Gaza, the ministry maintained.
It said that more than 20,000 people mostly women and children have been killed including more than 8,000 children and 6,200 women in Israeli brutal attacks on Gaza since October 7.