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UN vote on ceasefire in Gaza on Monday

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar23,2024

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A meeting of the United Nations Security Council (Archive photo).

Agence France-Presse

The day after the rejection of an American text, a paralyzed UN Security Council could become vote on Monday on a resolution demanding an “immediate” ceasefire in Gaza, a vote with an uncertain outcome due to reluctance by the United States.

And a vote with diplomatic stakes so important that negotiations continued into the night from Friday to Saturday to try to avoid another failure, according to diplomatic sources.

The vote which was scheduled for Saturday was postponed until Monday to try to avoid another failure, diplomatic sources told AFP.

On Friday, Russia and China vetoed a draft US resolution emphasizing the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in connection with negotiations for the release of hostages captured during the Gaza war. bloody and unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7 on Israeli soil.

Some observers saw this as a substantial shift in Washington's position, under pressure to limit its support for Israel. The United States had until then systematically opposed the term ceasefire in UN resolutions, blocking three texts to this effect.

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Middle East, the eternal conflict

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But the American text did not explicitly call for an immediate ceasefire, using wording considered ambiguous by Arab countries, China and Russia, which denounced the hypocritical spectacle of the United States while Gaza is virtually wiped off the map.

If the United States is serious about a ceasefire, then vote for the other plan , launched Chinese Ambassador Jun Zhang.

Eight of the ten non-permanent members of the Council (Algeria, Malta, Mozambique, Guyana, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Ecuador) have prepared another draft resolution, the vote on which is scheduled for Saturday.

The latest version seen by the AFP, supported by the Arab group, demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire for the month of Ramadan […], leading to a lasting ceasefire, while the Israeli offensive in Gaza has left more than 32,000 dead, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

He also calls for the unconditional release of the hostages and the removal of all obstacles to humanitarian aid.

But the American ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned of the risk to diplomatic efforts on the ground towards a truce agreement in exchange for the release of the hostages. An argument used during the last American veto at the end of February.

In its current form, this text does not support sensitive diplomatic efforts in the region. Worse, it could give Hamas an excuse to reject the agreement on the table, she warned on Friday.

The United States therefore requested changes to the text, several diplomatic sources told AFP on Friday evening. And negotiations were continuing, particularly around the link between the ceasefire and the release of the hostages, said one of them.

In the event of failure, this diplomatic sequence risks leaving some members of the Council with regrets, commented Richard Gowan, analyst at the International Crisis Group.

The US resolution was not what most member states expected, but it was at least a starting point for continuing efforts to stop hostilities , he estimated.

The Council, largely divided on the Israeli-Palestinian issue for years, has not been able to adopt since on October 7 on this issue only two resolutions (out of eight put to the vote), essentially humanitarian. Without much result: after five and a half months of war, the entry of aid into Gaza, besieged, remains largely insufficient and famine looms.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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