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The UN Security Council is trying for a fifth time to adopt a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war

by Madison Thomas
4 comments
UN Security Council Israel-Hamas Resolution

Following multiple unsuccessful attempts, the United Nations Security Council is undertaking a fifth effort to formulate a resolution concerning the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The ongoing divisions within the council raise questions about reaching a consensus on the language of the resolution.

The proposed draft, initiated by Malta and leaked by The Big Big News, advocates for “immediate, extended humanitarian pauses” across the Gaza Strip, facilitating vital aid for civilians. It calls for adherence to international humanitarian law, emphasizing civilian protection, safeguarding children, and prohibiting hostage-taking. However, the draft omits reference to a ceasefire and fails to address the unexpected assault by Hamas on Israel on October 7, which resulted in approximately 1,200 fatalities and the capture of around 240 individuals. It also excludes mention of Israel’s subsequent air and ground offensives in Gaza, which, according to the Gaza health ministry, have resulted in over 11,000 Palestinian casualties, including a significant number of women and children.

The Security Council, composed of 15 members and tasked with upholding global peace and security, has been hindered by internal disagreements, notably between China and Russia, who advocate for an immediate ceasefire, and the United States, which, while supporting humanitarian pauses, opposes any reference to a ceasefire.

Previous attempts to pass resolutions have been stymied by vetoes and insufficient support. Despite these challenges, council diplomats hint at progress in negotiations, with a potential vote on the current draft imminent.

The proposed resolution stipulates “sufficient” humanitarian pauses for unobstructed aid delivery and essential infrastructure repair. Following the deadlock in the Security Council, the General Assembly, reflecting broader international sentiment, passed a resolution advocating for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza. This resolution, although not legally binding, garnered substantial support, indicating global opinion on the conflict.

Richard Gowan of the International Crisis Group observed that the U.S. stance against a ceasefire inadvertently benefits Russia’s diplomatic position. He noted that while Russia’s ceasefire demands might be perceived as cynical, they align more with the prevailing council perspective, isolating the U.S. stance. Gowan also remarked on the limited impact of previous U.N. ceasefire calls in various conflicts, suggesting that a U.N. call for a ceasefire in this case might embarrass Israel but not significantly alter their actions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UN Security Council Israel-Hamas Resolution

What is the UN Security Council’s Current Effort Regarding the Israel-Hamas Conflict?

The UN Security Council is making a fifth attempt to pass a resolution on the Israel-Hamas war. The resolution calls for “immediate, extended humanitarian pauses” in the Gaza Strip and adherence to international humanitarian law, especially the protection of civilians and children. However, it does not mention a ceasefire or address recent attacks by both Hamas and Israel.

Why Has the Security Council Struggled to Pass a Resolution?

The Security Council has faced internal divisions, particularly between China and Russia, who favor an immediate ceasefire, and the United States, which supports humanitarian pauses but is against a ceasefire mention. Previous resolutions have been vetoed or lacked enough support, reflecting these divisions.

What Does the Proposed Resolution Entail?

The proposed resolution demands extended humanitarian pauses to provide aid to civilians in Gaza and calls for compliance with international humanitarian law. It emphasizes civilian protection and bans hostage-taking but omits any mention of a ceasefire or specific recent hostilities.

How Have Previous Resolution Attempts Fared?

Previous resolution attempts have been unsuccessful, with vetoes from the United States, Russia, and China, and insufficient support for others. These failures reflect the deep divisions within the Security Council regarding the approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

What Was the Outcome of the General Assembly’s Involvement?

Following the Security Council’s impasse, the General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza. While not legally binding, this resolution, supported by a majority, indicates broad international opinion. It reflects a global call for a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

How Does the US Position Affect the Diplomatic Landscape?

The US opposition to a ceasefire is seen as diplomatically beneficial to Russia, according to Richard Gowan of the International Crisis Group. The US stance, focusing on humanitarian pauses without a ceasefire, contrasts with the more popular position within the Council, isolating it diplomatically.

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4 comments

Mia Chen November 15, 2023 - 11:22 am

Good read, but could use more background on why the US is against mentioning a ceasefire? Feels like there’s more to the story.

Reply
Alex Johnson November 15, 2023 - 4:18 pm

i think the article nails the complexity of the situation, but it’s kinda hard to follow with all the political jargon, maybe simplify a bit?

Reply
John Smith November 15, 2023 - 11:44 pm

really interesting article but isn’t it a bit biased towards the US position? and why no mention of the impact on civilians in more detail?

Reply
Sarah K. November 16, 2023 - 3:13 am

Great analysis, but there are a few typos, like “humaitarian” should be “humanitarian.” Also, the date for the Hamas attack seems off, was it really Oct 7?

Reply

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