(CTN News) – The UN Security Council has approved a revised proposal to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza, while also calling for urgent action to establish conditions for a lasting end to hostilities.
The US abstained from voting, allowing the resolution to be adopted. The revised resolution no longer weakens Israel’s control over aid deliveries, disappointing some council members and Arab states.
The adopted resolution now focuses on immediate measures for safe humanitarian access and creating conditions for a sustainable end to hostilities. Russia expressed concerns about granting Israel complete freedom to continue operations in Gaza.
Russia proposed an amendment to the initial text calling for a cessation of hostilities, but the United States vetoed it. The proposal received 10 votes in favor and four abstentions.
The United Nations General Assembly demanded a humanitarian ceasefire, which was supported by 153 states but vetoed by the United States. The US and Israel oppose a ceasefire, believing it would benefit Hamas. Last month, the US abstained from taking action to allow for extended humanitarian pauses, after four unsuccessful attempts.
The US traditionally shields Israel from UN action and has vetoed resolutions twice since the October 7 attack by Hamas.
In response, Gaza was bombarded by Israel from the air, resulting in a siege and a ground offensive. According to health officials in Gaza, approximately 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have lost their lives.
This has led to a significant displacement of people in Gaza, and UN officials have expressed concerns about the dire humanitarian situation.
The World Food Programme has reported that half of Gaza’s population is facing starvation, with only 10% of the required food entering the region since October 7th.
During the negotiations on the resolution adopted on Friday, a major point of contention was the initial proposal for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a monitoring mechanism in Gaza to oversee aid from non-participating countries in the conflict.
However, a more moderate compromise was eventually reached. Instead of establishing a monitoring mechanism, Guterres will appoint a senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator to establish a UN mechanism that expedites aid to Gaza through states not involved in the conflict.
The appointed coordinator will also be responsible for facilitating, coordinating, monitoring, and verifying the humanitarian nature of all aid in Gaza.
Additionally, the council has called on the warring parties to adhere to international humanitarian law.
It strongly condemns all attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as any acts of violence, hostilities, and terrorism targeting civilians.