The resolution aims to open land, sea, and air routes for humanitarian assistance, amidst intense negotiations.
The United Nations Security Council is gearing up for a possible vote as early as Monday on allowing much-needed aid into Gaza, where Israel’s relentless war and complete blockade have killed over 19,000 Palestinians – mostly women and children.
The resolution, if passed, would mark a turning point in providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza, utilising land, sea, and air routes. It also proposes the establishment of UN oversight for the delivery of this aid.
The fate of this draft resolution, crucial for the people of Gaza, now hangs in the balance, contingent on the final negotiations between the United States, a stalwart ally of Israel and a council veto power, and the United Arab Emirates, the author of the draft.
A US official said: “We have engaged constructively and transparently throughout the entire process to unite around a product that will pass. The UAE is well aware of what is viable for passage and what isn’t — the ball is in their court to get this done,” according to Reuters.
This diplomatic endeavour by the United States seeks to moderate the language surrounding a cessation of hostilities.
The current draft, as per Reuters, urges “an urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access.”
UN officials and various aid agencies have sounded the alarm on a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
The Strip faces threats of mass starvation and disease. The majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants have been displaced during the two-month-long conflict.
For a council resolution to pass, it requires a minimum of nine votes in favour and no vetoes from the five permanent members: the US, France, China, Britain, or Russia.
Earlier this month, Washington exercised its veto power against a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza. Following this, the 193-member UN General Assembly rallied to demand a ceasefire last week, with a resounding 153 states voting in favour.
The United States and Israel have opposed a ceasefire, believing it to serve Hamas’s interests. Instead, Washington advocates for ‘pauses’ in combat to safeguard civilians and facilitate the release of hostages taken by Hamas in an attack on Israel on October 7.
Palestinian health officials have reported over 19,000 Palestinian casualties so far.
After several failed attempts to address the humanitarian crisis, the Security Council last month advocated for temporary pauses in the fighting to enable aid access to Gaza. A seven-day pause saw the release of some hostages by Hamas, the liberation of some Palestinians from Israeli prisons, and a boost in aid to Gaza, ending on December 1.
Currently, limited humanitarian aid and fuel deliveries are entering Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt, under Israeli scrutiny. However, UN officials and aid workers assert that this is grossly inadequate to meet the basic needs of Gazans.
The proposed draft resolution aims to establish UN monitoring in Gaza for aid delivered via land, sea, or air by countries not involved in the conflict. The UN would inform both the Palestinian Authority and Israel about these aid deliveries.
The Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza opened for aid trucks for the first time since the war’s onset, which aims to double the quantity of food and medicine reaching Gaza.