UN Security Council postpones vote on Gaza again

A text largely revised, but still not voted on

According to diplomatic sources, the United Nations (UN) Security Council vote is now scheduled for Friday, but the new text no longer resembles the version put on the table on Sunday by the United Arab Emirates.

The new draft resolution drafted Thursday, seen by Agence France-Presse (AFP), calls for “urgent measures to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and also to create the conditions for a lasting cessation of hostilities”. The reference to a “urgent and lasting cessation of hostilities” present in the first text has disappeared, as has the less direct request in the following version for a “urgent suspension of hostilities”.

“We have worked hard and diligently this week with the Emirates, others with Egypt, to arrive at a resolution that we can support”declared Thursday evening the American ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “The draft resolution is not weakened. The draft resolution is very strong, fully supported by the Arab group”she assured, believing that it would allow “to provide humanitarian aid to those who need it”.

The Council, widely criticized for its inaction since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, has been negotiating hard for several days, while the UN has warned of food insecurity ” unprecedented “ suffered by the inhabitants of Gaza now threatened by famine.

The vote initially scheduled for Monday was postponed multiple times, including Wednesday at the request of the Americans. Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, the Council has only managed to break its silence once, with the November 15 resolution calling for “humanitarian breaks”. He rejected five other texts in two months, two of which were due to American vetoes, the last on December 8. The United States then blocked, despite unprecedented pressure from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the call for a “humanitarian ceasefire”also considered unacceptable by Israel.

Negotiations have focused in recent hours on the request for the establishment of an aid monitoring mechanism, ensured “exclusively” by the UN, to guarantee nature “humanitarian” deliveries. Israel, which wants to maintain its control over humanitarian convoys, opposed this mechanism and the reference to the exclusive control of the UN disappeared from the last text consulted by AFP.

Another contentious point, the absence once again in the text of a condemnation – and even of the name – of Hamas, castigated by Israel and the United States. The new draft resolution removed the condemnation of “all acts of terrorism”but also that of “all indiscriminate attacks against civilians” present in previous versions.

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