UN Security Council calls for multi-day humanitarian pauses in Gaza | ET REALITY

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The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution Wednesday calling for immediate and urgent multi-day humanitarian pauses in the war between Israel and Hamas to allow desperately needed aid to reach civilians in Gaza.

The resolution presented by Malta was approved after weeks of division and inaction over the war between Israel and Gaza. He stopped short of calling for a ceasefire and did not specify the number of days for a humanitarian pause, instead calling for “a sufficient number of days” for “full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.” “

The resolution is legally binding and calls on all parties to comply with international conflict laws that require the protection of civilians, especially children. He also called for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages held by Hamas.

The resolution was approved with twelve votes and the three remaining members (the United States, Great Britain and Russia) abstained.

Four previous resolutions had failed. Diplomats said the Malta resolution was a compromise aimed at achieving consensus on language focused narrowly on humanitarian issues with an emphasis on the plight of children.

Before Wednesday’s vote, Russia called for an amendment to the resolution that would require a ceasefire. The majority of Security Council member states voted in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire on October 26. The proposal was not adopted because it did not obtain the necessary nine votes. The United States was the only member to vote against the ceasefire.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, said the adoption of the resolution on Wednesday showed that the Council can still work together. She said the United States could not vote for a resolution that did not condemn the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and affirm that countries have the right to defend themselves. But she said the United States supported many of the resolution’s provisions, such as the release of hostages and humanitarian pauses.

“Much more help is urgently needed. Current levels are woefully insufficient,” Ms Thomas-Greenfield said. “We are hopeful that humanitarian pauses will help the UN and humanitarian partners deliver aid and allow safe passage for civilians fleeing violence.”

The Council has held emergency meetings every week since the October 7 attack, but has taken no concrete action. Four previous resolutions on the war failed to pass due to divisions among the five veto-wielding members.

The United States vetoed a resolution, introduced by Brazil, calling for humanitarian aid and access because it did not say that Israel has the right to defend itself. Russia and China vetoed a US resolution because it did not call for a ceasefire. Russia’s two resolutions did not obtain the nine votes needed to pass.

In the resolution passed Wednesday, neither the United States nor Russia got the language they wanted. Responding to pressure for the Council to act, both abstained rather than veto the resolution.

“Humanitarian pauses cannot replace a ceasefire or even a truce,” said Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya. He criticized the resolution as weak and empty because after a pause, “the military operation will be renewed with greater force,” with more casualties and destruction.

As the war engulfed hospitals, patients and displaced people, the Council was accused of being indifferent to the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. The Israeli army’s raid on Tuesday at Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest medical center, drew condemnation from senior UN officials and diplomats and calls for the Council to act.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Council vote, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi of Jordan called the Security Council’s silence – as baby incubators lost power – “barbarism” in a post on platform silence about this brutality. It’s providing cover for war crimes. It is unacceptable, unjustifiable. The Council must act.”

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