Security Council Faces Challenges in Bringing Gaza Resolution to a Vote After Days of Struggle

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The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations announced on Thursday evening that the United States was prepared to back a Security Council resolution aiming to increase much-needed aid access to the Gaza Strip. This resolution, which had faced delays in being put to a vote, was not anticipated to proceed until Friday at the earliest.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador, stated after a closed-door meeting of Security Council members that the United States had collaborated intensively with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates over the past week. Their aim was to devise a mechanism that would facilitate humanitarian assistance, expressing readiness to support the resolution if it was presented as currently drafted.

She refrained from explicitly disclosing how the U.S. would vote but conveyed a willingness to support the resolution’s current version. The revised resolution no longer pressed for a halt in hostilities but called for immediate measures to enable unimpeded humanitarian access. It sought the appointment of a coordinator by the U.N. secretary-general to oversee the facilitation, coordination, monitoring, and verification of humanitarian cargo while engaging with relevant stakeholders.

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Earlier discussions took place without certain Security Council members being informed, leading to frustration, even among European allies, prior to the U.S. announcement. Allegedly, discussions between the U.S. and Egypt were held behind closed doors.

Reports suggest that high-level negotiations commenced between the U.S. and Egypt to reach common ground on aid inspections destined for Gaza. The U.N. secretary-general’s spokesperson confirmed that the Council was deeply engaged in discussions.

While Egypt is not a Council member, its involvement stems from its control over the Rafah border crossing into Gaza. Egypt’s preference for the U.N. to take charge of inspections instead of Israel aims to expedite aid delivery to the enclave, which has been severely limited in accessing essentials like food, water, and medical supplies for weeks.

The United States, influenced by Israel, advocates for Israel’s continued participation in inspections and contests the idea that U.N. inspections would hasten aid distribution.

Numerous humanitarian organizations are pressing the Security Council to act swiftly, highlighting the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The conflict in Gaza has resulted in dire humanitarian conditions, with access to aid being severely impeded. Israel launched a military operation against Hamas and other militant groups after an attack by Hamas led to significant casualties and hostages. Humanitarian aid delivery has been restricted through complex inspection procedures involving Israel and Egypt, causing immense suffering among Gaza’s population, particularly women and children.

Health officials in Gaza report thousands of casualties and warnings from the U.N. of an impending humanitarian catastrophe due to mass displacement and a critical lack of essential resources.