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The Security Council is still discussing a resolution regarding Gaza that urges for an immediate halt to the fighting.
Middle East World News

The Security Council is still discussing a resolution regarding Gaza that urges for an immediate halt to the fighting.

The most recent version was rejected by the United States on December 8th, and this was soon followed by a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly four days later. Member States voted with a large majority to support an urgent humanitarian ceasefire through a non-binding resolution.

The crisis was the subject of statements made by numerous countries during the resumed and adjourned Emergency Special Session of the Assembly on Wednesday.

A boy cycles through the heavily bombarded Asqola neighbourhood of Gaza City.

© UNICEF/Omar Al-Qattaa

A young boy rides his bike in the heavily bombarded Asqola neighborhood of Gaza City.

The Council has been in discussions all week in order to come up with phrasing that will prevent another veto from the US. They initially proposed a draft that called for a “cessation of hostilities,” but have since revised it to call for a “suspension” of fighting in order to greatly improve access for necessary aid.

On Tuesday and in previous meetings where no agreement was reached, the US asserted that any resolution must denounce the terrorist actions of the Hamas extremist group on October 7. These attacks were the catalyst for the current and unprecedented escalation of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, resulting in approximately 1,200 fatalities in southern Israel and the abduction of over 200 hostages by extremists. Many of these hostages are still being held captive in Gaza.

Several nations that have been critical of Israel’s aggressive actions have countered that any resolution denouncing Hamas must also denounce the Israeli occupation and the numerous civilian casualties caused by Israel’s military operations since October 7th.

Media sources have stated that diplomats are facing another obstacle in their discussions of the proposed resolution. This involves creating a UN monitoring system to evaluate the success of providing aid on a large scale, without relying on Israeli or Hamas control in Gaza.

Situation in Gaza

According to Gaza authorities, the most recent statistics show that approximately 20,000 civilians have died as a result of the Israeli retaliation bombing and offensive. A majority of the casualties are women and children.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by Thursday there are no operational hospitals remaining in the northern region of the enclave. Injured parents who are stranded in these facilities are reportedly “awaiting death.”

Tuesday’s meeting

During the Council’s meeting on Tuesday, the focus was on the crisis in the Middle East. The UN’s Special Envoy for the peace process expressed concern about the potential collapse of the entire humanitarian system and the worsening conditions for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

“I want to emphasize that security forces should exercise utmost caution and resort to lethal force only when absolutely necessary to preserve life,” Tor Wennesland emphasized.

The most recent version of the resolution has been released, highlighting important aspects.