O The UN Security Council met today, at the request of China and the United Arab Emirates, to discuss the worsening situation in Gaza and Israel’s recent airstrikes on the Jabalia refugee camp and on an ambulance convoy near the hospital. Al Shifa, but several diplomats indicated in the end that “gaps” still remain, a month after the conflict began.
After the meeting, which took place behind closed doors, Robert Wood told journalists that, “at this point, there is still no agreement”, despite humanitarian pauses having been discussed and the US being “interested in reaching language along those lines” in a future resolution to be voted on in the Security Council.
Today’s meeting follows a period of intense, but inconclusive, Security Council negotiations around a possible draft resolution on the escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas.
In October, the Council voted on four draft resolutions on the crisis, but none were adopted, with the US being among the countries that rejected the term “ceasefire” and vetoed texts that did not specifically condemn Hamas.
After the failed vote, Malta’s ambassador, Vanessa Frazier, announced that the Council’s ten non-permanent members would work on a fifth draft resolution, at a time when negotiations continue to bridge divisions among diplomats, including over whether the Council should call for a ceasefire or humanitarian pauses.
For China and the United Arab Emirates, the solution involves an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for this morning.
“This is desperately needed to enable a complete and rapid rescue” of civilians in Gaza, the two countries said at the end of the meeting, stressing that “wars have rules and must be maintained.”
To try to keep the situation in Gaza under the Security Council’s spotlight, UAE ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said the body is expected to meet again to address the conflict on Thursday.
Given the urgency of the situation and at the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron, France will organize an international humanitarian conference for the people of Gaza in Paris on Thursday.
Macron announced on Friday the holding of this “humanitarian conference”, stating that “the fight against terrorism does not justify the sacrifice of civilians”.
For the French ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière, “humanitarian truces” or “humanitarian pauses” are just words, and the important thing is to ensure that aid effectively reaches Palestinian civilians.
However, France called for an “immediate humanitarian truce”.
For the Palestinian diplomat at the UN, Riyad Mansour, these are not just words, stressing that a ceasefire should be “the first order of the day”, while humanitarian pauses would mean that Israel “continues to kill the Palestinians”, giving them only “a few hours every now and then” for aid to enter Gaza.
Israel has opposed calls for either a ceasefire or humanitarian pauses, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring on Friday that Israel rejects “a temporary ceasefire that does not include the release of our hostages.”
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