UN Security Council postpones Gaza conflict vote to Tuesday

A Security Council vote on the conflict in Gaza was postponed until Tuesday as negotiations continued over the text of the document, diplomatic sources at the United Nations said.

The United Arab Emirates, which had introduced the draft resolution calling for an urgent cessation of hostilities in Gaza, has requested that the vote, scheduled for Monday, be postponed by one day, a source said.
The proposal demands that Israel and Hamas allow aid access to the Gaza Strip – via land, sea and air routes – and set up UN monitoring of the humanitarian assistance delivered.

Diplomats said on Sunday that the fate of the draft Security Council resolution hinges on the final negotiations.

“We have engaged constructively and transparently throughout the entire process in an effort to unite around a product that will pass,” said a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The United States wants to tone down language on a cessation of hostilities, diplomats said. The draft text, seen by Reuters, currently “calls for an urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access.”

UN officials and aid agencies warn of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza – mass starvation and disease – 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 US, France, China, Britain or Russia.

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 UN 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 Oct. 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.

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