The United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution aimed at enhancing aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip has been postponed for another day. The delay comes as diplomats engage in ongoing talks to prevent a potential third U.S. veto concerning actions related to the Israel-Hamas conflict that has persisted for two months.
Initially scheduled for a vote on Monday, the resolution, drafted by the United Arab Emirates, has encountered repeated delays. Challenges in reaching an agreement on language, particularly with regards to a cessation of hostilities and the establishment of UN aid monitoring, have hindered progress.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield acknowledged the difficulties, stating, “We’re trying, we really are,” when asked about the prospects of an agreement.
The draft resolution seeks to compel Israel and Hamas to permit and facilitate the delivery of aid by land, sea, and air to the Gaza Strip. Additionally, it calls for the United Nations to monitor the humanitarian assistance reaching the Palestinian enclave.
Diplomats have reported that the United States aims to moderate language within the resolution that “calls for the urgent suspension of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and for urgent steps towards a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”
While there is a growing international appeal for a ceasefire, the United States and Israel reject the idea, asserting that it would only benefit Hamas. Instead, Washington supports intermittent pauses in fighting to safeguard civilians and facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas.
The United States, a traditional ally of Israel, has historically shielded the country from Security Council actions. The U.S. has already vetoed Security Council measures twice since an October 7 attack by Hamas, which Israel claims resulted in 1,200 casualties and the hostage-taking of 240 individuals.
In response to Hamas actions, Israel has conducted air bombardments, imposed a siege, and launched a ground offensive. According to Gaza health officials, nearly 20,000 Palestinians have lost their lives, and UN officials warn of an impending humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, with the majority of its 2.3 million residents displaced.
Amidst mounting civilian casualties, the U.S. finds itself increasingly isolated at the UN due to its steadfast support for Israel. China, a permanent UN Security Council member, has urged the U.S. to cease blocking resolutions calling for a Gaza ceasefire.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin emphasized on Tuesday that while China aspires to increase its influence in the Middle East, resolving the conflict ultimately rests on the shoulders of the United States. The dynamics of the UN vote and the ongoing negotiations underscore the complex diplomatic landscape surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict.
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