In an important development, the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday passed a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war and called for “urgent extended humanitarian pauses for (a) sufficient number of days to allow aid access” to the war-torn country. The resolution passed with a 12-0 vote, with the United States, United Kingdom, and Russia abstaining, as reported by AP. The Israeli foreign Ministry, however, rejected the resolution which prompted the Palestinian representative, Riyad Mansour, to ask the UN Security Council members what they intend to do now in the face of this defiance.
The vote overcame an impasse which witnessed four unsuccessful attempts to adopt a resolution. Europe’s Malta drafted the resolution that called for humanitarian corridors across the Gaza strip and urged the release of all hostages held by Hamas, reported the Guardian.
The final draft of the resolution watered down terminology from a ‘demand’ to a ‘call’ for humanitarian pauses. It also made a call for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups”. The draft asks that “all parties comply with their obligations under international law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians, especially children,” as reported by the Guardian.
US and UK abstained on the resolution on the grounds that they supported the emphasis on humanitarian relief but they could not extend their full support as it contained no explicit criticism of Hamas. Apart from US and UK, Russia also abstained on the grounds that it didn’t mention an immediate ceasefire.
The US envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, “There’s no excuse for failing to condemn these acts of terror. Let’s be crystal clear, Hamas set this conflict in motion.”
The UK envoy to the UN, Dame Barbara Woodward, said, “It is impossible to comprehend the pain and the loss Palestinian civilians are enduring. Too many civilians including children are losing their lives,” reported the Guardian.