UNSC to vote on new Gaza ceasefire draft as Israel besieges three hospitals

The Israeli military has besieged three hospitals in Gaza, with medical teams under heavy gunfire, as a divided United Nations Security Council is set to vote on a new draft resolution calling for an “immediate” ceasefire in the enclave.

The resolution does not link a pause in hostilities to the release of Israeli captives being held in Gaza, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a news conference in Amman, Jordan, on Monday. This was one of the reasons why the previous draft was vetoed.

Russia and China on Friday vetoed a text proposed by the United States, criticising it as “exceedingly politicised” and saying it did not clearly state opposition to Israel’s long-threatened ground operation in Rafah, the southernmost Gaza city where about 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering.

Guterres – who visited the Egyptian side of the border with the Gaza Strip not far from Rafah on Saturday – said there was a “growing consensus emerging in the international community to tell Israel a ceasefire is needed”, and to “tell clearly to the Israelis that any ground invasion of Rafah could mean a catastrophic humanitarian disaster”.

China said it supported the new UNSC draft resolution which is due to be voted on later on Monday. “We hope the Security Council will pass it as soon as possible and send a strong signal for the cessation of hostilities,” foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said.

The new text is expected to demand “an immediate ceasefire” for the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan, “leading to a permanent sustainable ceasefire”.


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