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The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution to escalate humanitarian aid delivery to the Gaza Strip and calls for the “urgent release of hostages held by Hamas,” marking a significant diplomatic endeavor.
The United States abstained from voting, allowing the resolution to pass after a week of intensive diplomacy that led to changes in its wording. US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield reflected on the council’s decision, stating, “Colleagues, today this council made clear that addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza needs to remain at the forefront of our agenda.”
The resolution saw thirteen countries voting in favor, with the US and Russia abstaining. Russia expressed dissatisfaction with the revised resolution, criticizing it as “toothless” due to modifications demanded by the US. Specifically, Russia lamented the removal of text condemning “all indiscriminate attacks on civilians” and calling for an “urgent suspension of hostilities.”
The backdrop to this resolution is the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, intensified by Israel’s military actions against Hamas after an attack on October 7. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, while discussing the resolution’s importance, emphasized the US stance on the broader regional conflict, asserting, “I’m not going to respond to Russia’s rant, a country that has also created conditions that they are complaining about now in their unprovoked war in Ukraine.” Despite abstaining, she recognized the resolution’s role in addressing the humanitarian crisis, noting, “This resolution puts the weight of the Security Council behind these efforts.”