Russia’s push for ceasefire in embattled Gaza fails in UN Security Council

Russia’s push for ceasefire in embattled Gaza fails in UN Security Council

Russia’s push for ceasefire in embattled Gaza fails in UN Security Council

Russia’s push for ceasefire in embattled Gaza fails in UN Security Council

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UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Monday night failed to adopt a Russian resolution that would have called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, which has been ravaged by 10 days of relentless Israel’s bombings following Hamas’ attacks on Israeli border towns.

The Russian-led draft resolution received five votes in favour (China, Gabon, Mozambique, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates) and four against (France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States), with six abstentions (Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Malta, and Switzerland).

For the 15-member Council to adopt a resolution, the proposal must receive at least nine votes in favour, with none of its five permanent members opposing or casting a veto. The draft text had called for a humanitarian ceasefire, release of all hostages, aid access, and safe evacuation of civilians. The United States and its allies opposed the Russian resolution as it did not specifically condemn the attacks by Hamas that reportedly killed over a 1,000 Israelis.

On the other hand, at least 2,750 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded in the retaliatory Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, the enclave’s health ministry said Monday.

The Security Council is now expected to take action on a rival draft resolution circulated by Brazil. The Brazilian draft calls for “humanitarian pauses” in addition to condemning Hamas and all violence and terrorist acts against civilians.

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The one-page Russian draft would have called for “an immediate, durable and fully respected humanitarian cease-fire ” and strongly condemned “all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism,” After Monday night’s vote, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia expressed regret over the Security Council’s failure to adopt the resolution, blaming the “selfish intention of the Western bloc.”

He said that the western countries’ delegations “basically stomped” on global hopes for the Council to put an end to violence. Ambassador Nebenzia noted that the vote revealed countries in support of ending the violence and providing humanitarian aid, and those blocking a unified message “for purely selfish and political interests”. “We are extremely concerned by the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and the very high risk of the conflict spreading,” he said.

The Security Council had met behind closed doors Friday for the second time in five days on the Israel-Hamas war, but couldn’t reach a united approach. Russia proposed its draft resolution and Brazil, the current council president, circulated its rival draft over the weekend.

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