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UNSC Passes Muted Resolution Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict, US Abstains

The UN Security Council adopts a modified resolution to increase humanitarian aid in war-torn Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. The decision, supported by 13 member nations with US and Russia abstaining, avoids explicit calls for a ceasefire. The resolution emphasizes urgent steps for humanitarian access, addressing the rising death toll and worsening crisis in Gaza.

UNSC Passes Muted Resolution Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict, US Abstains Image Source -www.cfr.org

In a pivotal move, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a revised resolution aimed at escalating humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Gaza Strip amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The resolution, while steering clear of calling for an immediate ceasefire, garnered approval from 13 out of the 15 member nations, with both the United States and Russia abstaining.

The adopted resolution urgently emphasizes the need for unhindered and expanded humanitarian access, intending to establish conditions conducive to a lasting cessation of hostilities. The decision follows intense negotiations to sidestep a potential US veto, highlighting the delicate balance required to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The death toll among Palestinians has surpassed 20,000, fueling global outrage and underscoring the urgent need for intervention.

The Israeli military, expressing regret for civilian casualties, attributes the deaths to Iran-backed Hamas's presence in densely populated areas and alleged use of civilians as shields. While both the US and Israel oppose an outright ceasefire, they advocate for periodic pauses in hostilities to safeguard civilians and release hostages held by Hamas.

Crucially, the revised resolution preserves Israel's control over aid deliveries to Gaza's 2.3 million inhabitants, albeit without diluting it further. Israel oversees limited aid shipments through the Rafah crossing from Egypt and the Kerem Shalom crossing under Israeli control.

However, the evolving language of the resolution, particularly concerning the cessation of hostilities, has sparked frustration among Russia and nations from the Arab and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) blocs. Some countries perceive it as tacit approval for Israel to intensify actions against Hamas. Russia's attempt to revert to the initial text calling for an "urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities" faced a US veto.

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US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed cautious optimism, acknowledging the resolution as a "glimmer of hope" amid immense suffering. She highlighted the Council's unprecedented reference to a cessation of hostilities while acknowledging the ongoing challenges in addressing the humanitarian crisis and establishing a foundation for lasting peace.

In a separate development, Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, thanked the US for its support and criticized the UN's failure to condemn Hamas for a recent terrorist attack. The unresolved tensions underscore the complex dynamics surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict, requiring continued international efforts to navigate toward a sustainable resolution.

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