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March 4, 2024

UN Security Council Delays Vote on Gaza Ceasefire Resolution for 3rd Time as US Seeks Compromise

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Dec 22, 2023

The UN Security Council has postponed voting on a resolution calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza for the third time this week. The delay comes as the US continues to negotiate the language of the resolution to avoid using its veto power while securing support for increased humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Key Developments

  • The proposed resolution calls for “an immediate cessation of hostilities” between Israel and Gaza militant groups and supports increased humanitarian aid to Gaza
  • The US has voiced concerns over the original language, causing delays as it negotiates changes
  • A compromise version drops calls for a ceasefire but pushes for a “durable peace”
  • Latest draft calls for “full adherence to international humanitarian law” regarding protection of civilians
  • Vote postponed from original date of Monday as talks continue between US, Arab nations, and allies
  • Death toll in 11 days of fighting tops 300 in Gaza, with over 2,000 wounded; in Israel 12 dead

Behind the Scenes Negotiations

The original resolution sponsored by the UAE, China, France, Ireland and Norway on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire and provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza. However, the US quickly signaled concerns over the language and has used its influence to delay action and work on a compromise.

The latest draft resolution drops calls for an immediate truce between Israel and Gaza militant groups. However, it pushes for accelerated aid to Gaza as the enclave’s humanitarian situation deteriorates sharply. The revised text calls for “full adherence to international humanitarian law,” regarding the protection of civilians.

Behind the scenes, the US and Arab nations have held high-level talks trying to avoid a situation where the US has to use its veto power, which could damage ties. Israel has also lobbied intensely against the original draft resolution.

The US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Wednesday the US is “prepared to support an amended text” that does not call for an immediate ceasefire but focuses more on humanitarian aid. The new draft is “more balanced,” she argued.

Deteriorating Humanitarian Situation

The resolution highlights escalating humanitarian fears in Gaza. Nearly 50,000 Palestinians have been displaced by Israeli airstrikes, which have damaged critical infrastructure.

Over 300 Palestinians have been killed so far, including at least 100 women and children according to the Gaza Health Ministry. UN officials warn the death toll could rise steeply if fighting persists, especially with vital services damaged.

Impacts in Gaza
300+ deaths, 2,000+ wounded Health Ministry
50,000 displaced UN estimates
Fuel, water, sanitation impacted UN Relief Agency

Only 4 km wide and 45 km long, Gaza is one of the world’s most densely populated areas. The intense bombing over 11 days has led to severe shortages of clean water, fuel for electricity generation and waste water management.

UN officials have warned Gaza could be on the brink of a humanitarian emergency if bombing persists, with the risk of widespread disease and civilian casualties rising sharply.

What Comes Next?

It remains unclear if further negotiations will produce a compromise all Security Council members can accept. The posponments suggest backroom diplomacy will continue before any vote.

  • If no agreement is reached, the US may have to veto the resolution sparking further tensions
  • Or negotiations succeed in bringing a watered-down draft focusing only on humanitarian aid
  • But calls for an immediate truce between Israel and Gaza militant groups may have to be removed

A ceasefire still seems elusive as Israel continues heavy airstrikes trying to degrade militant capabilities. Palestinian groups have fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel during the fighting.

Israel argues it has an inherent right of self-defense against Hamas rocket attacks. But there is growing international criticism over the rising civilian death toll and humanitarian situation in Gaza.

If the UN Security Council cannot agree on even calling for a pause, it highlights deep divisions between world powers on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict going back decades. With positions hardening, a negotiated compromise remains uncertain.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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