The United Nations Security Council was due to vote on Monday on rival draft resolutions on Israel and Gaza that focus largely on the humanitarian situation, but it was unclear whether either stood a chance of being adopted.
The draft texts have been submitted by Russia and Brazil. A resolution needs at least nine of the 15 members’ votes to pass and no vetoes by Britain, China, France, Russia or the United States, the council’s five permanent members.
The United States has traditionally shielded its ally Israel in any action by the Security Council. A spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations declined to comment when asked about the impending votes.
Russia’s draft calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, while the Brazilian draft calls for humanitarian pauses to allow aid access. Both condemn violence and hostilities against civilians and all acts of terrorism and call for the release of hostages.
The Brazilian draft condemns the Palestinian group Hamas for its attacks on Israel, while the Russian draft does not name Hamas, which attacked Israel on Oct. 7.
Without naming Israel, the Brazilian text also calls for the rescinding of the Israeli order for civilians and UN staff in northern Gaza Strip to relocate to southern Gaza.
“We are convinced that our draft better meets the humanitarian needs of the civilian population in Gaza and doesn’t contain political elements that could divide members of the UNSC and affect its role in the settlement of the crisis,” Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Brazilian Presidency of the UNSC scheduled the voting on our draft of humanitarian resolution on #Gaza at 6 pm today. We also learned that a second draft will be voted after ours. We are convinced that our draft better meets the humanitarian needs of the civilian population… https://t.co/PZNRroI3qI
— Dmitry Polyanskiy 🇺🇳 (@Dpol_un) October 16, 2023
Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas – which controls the Gaza Strip – after its fighters stormed Israeli towns, killed 1,300 people and seized hostages in the worst attack on civilians in Israel’s 75-year-old history.
Israel is preparing for a ground offensive in Gaza while subjecting the strip to the most intense bombardment ever, putting the enclave under total siege. Gaza authorities say at least 2,750 people have been killed.
Israeli forces kept up their bombardment of Gaza on Monday after diplomatic efforts to arrange a ceasefire to allow foreign passport holders to leave and aid to be brought into the besieged Palestinian enclave failed.